Quetta Gladiators batsman Azam Khan
Quetta Gladiators batsman Azam Khan plays a shot during the Pakistan Super League T20 cricket match against Karachi Kings at National Stadium in Karachi, on February 23, 2020. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Quetta Gladiators tamed Karachi Kings by five wickets in the early match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) at the National Stadium in Karachi on Sunday.

The strong Karachi batting line-up was restricted to 156 for nine with Mohammad Hasnain taking three wickets for 33 runs and also produced a run out. Quetta, despite slipping to 55 for three at one stage, was guided to the target by Azam Khan’s 46 runs and skipper Sarfaraz Ahmad’s unbeaten 37.

Karachi won the toss and elected to bat. Star opener Babar Azam began scoring freely by hitting 26 runs before his partner Sharjeel Khan could even open his account. Azam played Tymal Mills onto his wicket after he put on 31 runs. Then with the score on 47, Khan got caught and bowled by Mohammad Nawaz for six.

Cameron Delport and Alex Hales took the score to 76 but by the 11th over before Delport (22) flicked Sohail Khan to Nawaz at deep square leg. Hasnain then ran out Chadwic Walton for one. Hales, who was stroking well, edged high to third man off Hasnain and Karachi thus slipped to 96 for five in 13.4 overs. To make matters worse, skipper Imad Wasim got run out cheaply for eight. Karachi crossed the 150-run mark due to Iftikhar Ahmad’s 25 and Chris Jordan’s 14.

Quetta openers Shane Watson and Jason Roy put on 41 runs in 5.5 overs before Watson got run out for 27. Ahmad Shehzad scored just nine runs before Wasim got him out caught at long-on, Roy too got run out for 17. Sarfaraz and Azam Khan added 85 runs for the fourth wicket when Khan got run out. Sarfaraz then guided his team to the target with six balls to spare.

On Saturday night, Islamabad United opener Luke Ronchi displayed his prowess in Twenty20 format through a whirlwind 74 runs off 45 balls and gift an eight-wicket win over Multan Sultans at the Lahore Gaddafi stadium.

The 38-year-old New Zealander destroyed Multan attack in company of his compatriot and opener Colin Munro, who cracked 50 off 32 balls. Together they put on 92 runs in 9.5 overs while chasing Multan’s total of 164 for eight in 20 overs. Dawid Malan too chipped in with an unbeaten 35 to give Islamabad an easy win 20 balls to spare.

Brief scores:

Sunday: Quetta Gladiators bt Karachi Kings by 5 wkts. Karachi 156 for 9 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 26, Alex Hales 29, Cameron Delport 22, Iftikhar Ahmad 25, Mohammad Hasnain 3 for 33, Tymal Mills 2 for 30). Quetta 157 for 5 in 19 overs (Shane Watson 27, Sarfaraz Ahmad 37n.o Azam Khan 46). Man of the Match: Azam Khan.

Saturday: Islamabad United bt Multan Sultans by 8 wkts. Multan 164 for 8 in 20 overs (Shan Masood 21, James Vince 42, Zeeshan Ashraf 50, Amad Butt 4 for 27, Faheem Ashraf 2 for 34) Islamabad 165 for 2 in 16.4 overs (Luke Ronchi 74, Colin Munro 50, Dawid Malan 35n.o) Man of the Match: Luke Ronchi.