Karachi Kings faced a crushing defeat at the hands of defending champions, Multan Sultans, in the inaugural match of the seventh edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) on Thursday, 27 January. They were outplayed by Mohammad Rizwan-led Sultans in all departments.
Batting first, the home side was restricted to just 124/5 in the 20 overs despite a 66-run opening partnership. Multan bowlers, led by senior campaigner, Imran Tahir, bowled brilliantly to cramp Karachi for runs. Tahir was the key destroyer with his three wickets for just 16 runs.
This was the lowest completed first innings total for the loss of 5 wickets or less in PSL history.
Previously, Karachi’s 128/5 against Islamabad United in the inaugural edition was the lowest first innings score at the loss of five or fewer wickets.
Following are the four lowest completed first innings scores in PSL history:
|Karachi Kings||124/5||Multan Sultans||2022|
|Karachi Kings||128/5||Islamabad United||2016|
|Lahore Qalandars||133/5||Karachi Kings||2019|
|Quetta Gladiators||148/5||Peshawar Zalmi||2020|
The biggest reason for Karachi’s sluggish performance was the early wicket of skipper Babar Azam. After Sharjeel Khan’s quick-fire 43 at the top, the platform was well-set for Karachi to build on it and set a big total on the board. However, Babar, who is known for anchoring the innings, threw his wicket while trying to hit Khushdil Shah for a six. The skipper scored 23 runs off 29 balls, with a poor strike rate of just 79.31.
This was Babar’s second-slowest innings in PSL (minimum 25 balls faced).
Let’s take a look at Babar Azam’s five slowest innings in the tournament so far:
|Score||Balls Faced||Strike Rate||Vs Team||Year|
Babar’s wicket brought unwanted pressure on the inexperienced batting line. The changing behavior of the wicket did the rest, as Sultans spinners spun a web around Karachi batters to restrict them to a below-par total.
In response, Mohammad Rizwan’s unbeaten half-century helped his side to a comfortable seven-wicket win with 10 balls to spare to begin the title defense.