SHARJAH-The match between Multan Sultans and Karachi Kings has been called after persistent rain kept the players at bay and latter a wet outfield led to the decision.

It was the 11th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and has been billed as the clash of the two best teams so far in the PSL. The contest was expected to be feisty one as both teams have a brilliant start to their tournament but both teams would have to wait before testing each other’s mettle in the event.

The Kings won the toss and opted to bat first before rain foiled their plans. The match officials waited for almost two and a half hours before taking a decision.

It was highly unfortunate both for fans and the PSL as well as it was the first day since the start of the third edition of the league that spectators thronged the stadium.

Both the Kings and the Sultans put on quite a show throughout the Dubai leg of the tournament, and managed to keep their fans and critics engaged in the three matches they got to play before the rain-marred fourth encounter.

New entrants Sultans came into the match having won two matches and lost one out of their first three matches, whereas Kings were the only unbeaten team in the tournament. A point means Sultans are now second on the league table with five points after four matches, whereas Kings remained top of the table with seven points.

Karachi, who revamped their squad in the PSL drafts and appointed Imad Wasim as captain, have been rewarded for the overhaul: the younger lineup, starring power hitters as well as more steady players and pacers, has overcome Quetta Gladiators, defending champions Peshawar Zalmi and Lahore Qalandars so far.

Multan Sultans started their debut PSL campaign on a winning note, beating Peshawar Zalmi in the tournament opener and Lahore Qalandars in their second match. But the side lost to Islamabad United by 5 wickets.

There was good news and bad news both for the Kings as Mohammad Aamir has returned to their side after an injury scare while star all-rounder Shahid Afridi was rested for today match due to an injury. Karachi Kings and Afridi will keep their fingers crossed as Afridi awaits results of an MRI scan of his knee.

Afridi is already among the leading wicket-takers in the Pakistan Super League this year with six in three games and an economy rate of just 5.33. Only Multan’s Imran Tahir has taken more so fans were shocked when the Pakistani superstar was not named in Karachi’s XI for the game in Sharjah.

Afridi enjoyed a superb start to the third edition of the Pakistan Super League and also took an unbelievable catch on the boundary line. But he looks set for some time on the sidelines after picking up a knee injury with Karachi looking to preserve him for the business end of the tournament.

Karachi coach Mickey Arthur subsequently revealed that Afridi had picked up a knee injury at the 11th hour, with concerns over his short-term health despite the fact that rain prevented Multan from capitalising on his absence as the game was eventually abandoned.

“Afridi is going for an MRI tonight. He felt something in his knee during the warm-ups.”

Arthur said given the quality that Afridi brings to the table, the management will monitor his fitness carefully. “Rather than pushing him to play today we will preserve him for the back end of the tournament,” Arthur said.

Arthur was also very much frustrated due to delay caused by the rain. “It's very frustrating,” Arthur explained. “The adrenaline goes away in the dressing room. I am very pleased with Karachi's progress. We haven't started well in the previous years. We are happy with three wins, but there's a long way to go.”

About his team’s available pool of talent Arthur said he was satisfied with his resources. “We have kept the local players intact. [Joe] Denly, Tymal [Mills], Lendl [Simmons], [Eoin] Morgan will come soon. It's a money ball scenario, if you like.”

Pakistan team’s head coach also appreciated the captaincy of Imad Wasim. “I am very happy with the way Imad has taken the team forward. He has sort of owned it. He has done really, really well so far. The prep has been outstanding. For us, it's just about keeping the momentum going.”

Afridi was also disappointed not to have the chance to add to his tally today.

“My apologies to all my fans who came to watch me play today,” Afridi wrote on Twitter. “Getting an MRI done for my knee. Need your prayers. Will get bak soon inshallah [God willing].”

Afridi turned 38 on Thursday and knee injuries can become particularly difficult to recover from at that age.

 

 

Dubai: Shahid Afridi in a hospital to undergo an MRI scan on his injured knee.

 

Sharjah: Toss was the only possible action on the field during the match between Karachi Kings and Multan Sultans.