Dubai - Karachi Kings reigned over Multan Sultans through a commanding performance with the bat and ball to conquer Multan Sultans in the 22nd match of the Pakistan Super League. Multan, which began so promisingly in this tournament, crashed to a 63-run defeat.

Karachi after posting a whopping 188 for 3 through half centuries from Joe Denly and Babar Azam restricted Multan to 125 in 19.4 overs through Shahid Afridi’s splendid spell of 3 for 18.

Multan won the toss and elected to field hoping to restrict Karachi Kings but found their opponents posting the highest score of this edition. They were stunned to find Karachi top order produce a spirited batting performance and steer them to their team’s highest ever in PSL matches.

They got the wicket of opener Lendl Simmons in the fourth over when Mohammad Irfan miscued a pull and ended up being caught by Hardus Viljoen in the covers for 4 but had to wait until the 17th over to get the next wicket.

Denly and Azam took charge and put on 118 runs in 13.2 overs. Denly picked the gaps beautifully to hit 10 boundaries and also hit two sixes during his 55-ball knock for 78 runs before he pulled Viljoen into the hands of Imran Tahir at deep square leg.

Colin Ingram further accelerated the run rate hitting Kireon Pollard for two successive sixers in the 18th over. Vilojen then went on to dismiss Azam in the 19th over when Shehzad took a diving catch at deep midwicket. Azam’s 58 off 39 balls had six boundaries and one six.

Ingram hit his third six by hitting Viljoen over long on. He finished off the innings by hitting Sohail Tanvir’s last ball over long on for another powerful six. He remained unbeaten on 29 from his eight balls with his four sixes but no boundaries.

Multan’s chase began with Ahmad Shehzad hitting Imad Wasim for a six over the bowler’s head off the fourth ball of the first over. His partner Sangakkara smacked Usman Khan too for a six over long off. They batted aggressively until the fifth over before Mohammad Irfan ended Sangakkara’s stay by having him caught behind for 18. Shoaib Maqsood began with a six off Usman Khan over midwicket, but Khan had him caught by Azam at midwicket for 11.

In the seventh over Imad Wasim had Shehzad stumped by wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan for 24. When Shahid Afridi, who was introduced in the eighth over clean bowled Kieron Pollard with a beauty of a ball, Multan slipped to 58 for 4 in 7.2 overs and took a strong grip on the match. When Afridi produced one more excellent delivery to force Saif Badar chop his delivery on to his wicket, Karachi victory became certain.

A disappointed Multan skipper Shoaib Malek attempted a wild shot against Afridi and got bowled for 6 and soon his team crashed to a huge defeat. Viljone ran himself out to quicken the defeat. Sohail Tanvir cracked a defiant unbeaten 34 runs in the end to reduce the margin of defeat.

Shahid Afridi named of the match. "Conditions suited the spinners," he says. "I'll give credit to Babar and Joe Denly, because of whose efforts we were able to put up this total. We went as per plan and in T20 I try to keep things simple, but I do variations to avoid becoming predictable. When you win against good teams, the confidence is high. But I strongly feel fielding is what will win us the tournament," said Afridi.

"You win some and lose some, but you learn from your mistakes," says Multan Sultans captain Shoaib Malik. "This is not the end of the world. We leaked a few extra runs, and when you're chasing a big total, you need to have wickets in hand. Early on, the pitch was fresh and the ball was coming on. But, having said that, need to give credit to Karachi's batsmen, especially Joe Denly and Babar, who strung together a partnership and accelerated when it was needed."

"We were under pressure after the last two games," says Karachi captain Imad Wasim. "We came out saying we needed to give it a go and it came off well. Runs on the board is important, and credit goes to Joe Denly and Babar Azam. Ingram just bats at No. 3 or 4, wherever we need him, because he's a very good hitter of spin. I believe the best batter has to face the most balls. This was his role today but we want to see him score big runs."


Karachi kings

L Simmons c Viljoen b Irfan 4
J Denly c Imran Tahir b Viljoen 78
Babar Azam c Shehzad b Viljoen 58
C Ingram not out 29
R Bopara not out 4
EXTRAS: (b1, lb6, w8) 15
TOTAL: (3 wkts; 20 overs) 188
FOW: 1-21, 2-139, 3-169
BOWLING: Sohail Tanvir 4-0-29-0, M Irfan 4-0-21-1, Junaid Khan 3-0-31-0, Imran Tahir 3-0-27-0, G Viljoen 4-0-49-2, K Pollard 2-0-24-0


K Sangakkara c Rizwan b Irfan Jr 18
Ahmed Shehzad st Rizwan b Imad 24
Sohaib Maqsood c Babar b Usman 11
Shoaib Malik b Shahid Afridi 6
K Pollard b Shahid Afridi 3
Saif Badar b Shahid Afridi 13
G Viljoen run out 2
Sohail Tanvir not out 34
Imran Tahir b Amir 2
Junaid Khan c Denly b Irfan Jr 1
M Irfan run out 6
EXTRAS: (lb3, nb1, w1) 5
TOTAL: (all out; 19.4 overs) 125
FOW: 1-41, 2-52, 3-53, 4-58, 5-76, 6-79, 7-86, 8-98, 9-99, 10-125
BOWLING: Imad Wasim 4-0-22-1, M Amir 4-0-26-1, Usman Khan 2.4-0-23-1, M Irfan Jr 3-0-18-2, Shahid Afridi 4-1-18-3, J Denly 2-0-15-0
TOSS: Multan Sultans
UMPIRES: Aleem Dar, Asif Yaqoob
TV UMPIRE: Shozab Raza