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Pollard’s blitz powers Karachi Kings to first win in PSL 9

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LAHORE: A combined bowling effort, followed by Kieron Pollard’s blistering half-century powered Karachi Kings to a thumping seven-wicket victory over Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 9 at Gaddafi Stadium on Wednesday.

Karachi Kings successfully chased the 155-run target with 19 balls to spare, with Pollard and James Vince going unbeaten.

Peshawar Zalmi started the defence of the paltry total on a good note as Luke Wood removed captain Shan Masood with 20 runs on the board.

Mohammad Akhlaq played a quick cameo of 24 from 13 balls that featured three boundaries and two sixes before Wood struck again to send him back.

With the scoreboard reading 40-2, Shoaib Malik and James Vince constructed an anchoring 51-run stand from 46 balls to put the Kings back on track.

Malik scored run-a-ball 29 before he came down the track to attempt an ambitious loft to Waqar Salamkheil, only to get stumped.

Pollard joined Vince and made sure to get the Zalmi out of the game with a blistering cameo of 49 runs from 21 balls, including 27 runs in one over of Salamkheil.

Pollard smashed eight boundaries, including four sixes to guide his team to victory, while Vince scored 38 off 30 with the help of three boundaries and one six.

Earlier, Karachi Kings opted to field and drew first blood with veteran Shoaib Malik castling Saim Ayub on the first ball.

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Peshawar Zalmi captain Babar Azam kept the scoreboard moving but could not get support from the other end early on as his side slipped to 40-3 inside the power play.

Rovman Powell then joined hands with the skipper and together they knitted a partnership of 68 runs from 46 balls to help their side recover from the early damage.

Powell was the core aggressor of the partnership with a 25-ball 39, which featured three boundaries and two sixes, while Azam played the anchor’s role.

Powell’s entertaining knock came to an end when he tried to reverse hit Mohammad Nawaz but top-edged the ball only to land in the safe hands of Mir Hamza.

Asif Ali joined Azam and played a 23-run knock from 16 balls before Kieron Pollard caught him at long-on off Daniel Sams.

Peshawar Zalmi faced a horrible collapse courtesy of brilliant bowling by Karachi Kings and bowled out at a meagre 154 despite being at 136-5 at one point.

Azam top-scored for Zalmi, scoring a gutsy 72 off 51, which featured seven boundaries and one six.

For Karachi Kings, Hamza and Hasan Ali claimed three wickets each, while Sams managed two wickets.

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