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Multan Sultans beat Karachi Kings to script winning start to PSL 9

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MULTAN: Dawid Malan and Reeza Hendricks’ brisk half-centuries, followed by a combined bowling effort led Multan Sultans to a 55-run victory over Karachi Kings in their Pakistan Super League (PSL) 9 campaign opener here on Sunday.

Set to chase 186 on the tricky surface of the Multan Cricket Stadium, the Kings could amass 130/8 runs in the allotted overs despite Shoaib Malik’s gutsy half-century.

The visitors had a shaky start to the pursuit, courtesy of David Willey’s back-to-back wickets — James Vince (5) and Saad Baig (0) — in the third over of the innings.

Following the slump, skipper Shan Masood joined forces with experienced Malik and began to launch a recovery.

The pair added 52 runs for the third wicket before Usama Mir dismissed Masood in the ninth over. The Kings’ captain scored 30 off 31 balls, hitting four boundaries and a six.

Malik then put together a one-sided partnership with Mohammad Nawaz which yielded 37 runs.

The experienced, aware of the mounting required run rate switched gears in the 12th over of the innings when he hit Iftikhar Ahmed for a six and two boundaries.

He brought up his 15th PSL half-century on the first delivery of the 13th over by smashing Abbas Afridi for a boundary with an elegant cover drive.

But Abbas hit back on the next delivery and dismissed Malik, who remained the top-scorer for the Kings with 53 off 35 deliveries, peppered with five boundaries and two sixes.

Abbas then struck again in the same over, removing Mohammad Nawaz (seven) and igniting a collapse in the Kings’ batting lineup.

The visitors lost three more wickets in quick succession and consequently slipped to 113/8 in 17 overs.

Experienced all-rounder Kieron Pollard waged a lone battle at the end with a gutsy cameo but his efforts went in vain as the Kings fell short by 55 runs.

He remained unbeaten on 28 off 29 deliveries, which featured four boundaries and a six.

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Mohammad Ali led the bowling charge for the Sultans with 3/23, followed by Willey and Abbas, picking up two wickets each.

Mir, on the other hand, could only take one wicket but was economical, leaking just 14 runs in his four-over spell.

Put into bat first, the Sultans registered a commendable total on the board in their first PSL 9 fixture, courtesy of a marathon second-wicket partnership between Malan and Hendricks.

The home side, however, had a contrasting start to their innings as Mir Hamza trapped their skipper Mohammad Rizwan (11) lbw on the first delivery of the third over with just 17 runs on the board.

The Sultans were unfazed by the early blow as Hendricks joined Malan in the middle to give them a steady start.

The duo batted with great determination to keep the scoreboard ticking and registered half-centuries at a decent strike rate.

Their 121-run partnership finally lasted in the 17th over when Dawid Malan misjudged Daniel Sams’ slower delivery and launched the ball straight to substitute fielder Irfan Khan at deep midwicket.

Malan smashed four boundaries and a six on his way to a 41-ball 52.

Hendricks, on the other hand, stood his ground firm and carried his bat all the way through with an unbeaten 79 off 54 deliveries, laced up seven boundaries and three sixes.

He was involved in yet another crucial partnership for the Sultans when he added 47 runs for the third wicket alongside Khushdil Shah, who played an important cameo at the backend.

Khushdil scored 28 off 13, hitting four boundaries, to help Hendricks bolster the Sultans’ total.

For the Kings, Mir Hamza and Daniel Sams bagged one wicket apiece.

READ: James Vince named Karachi Kings’ vice-captain for PSL 9

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