KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Quetta Gladiators finally notched their first win in the Pakistan Super League by beating Multan Sultans by 22 runs on Wednesday.
In the early game, Babar Azam and Mohammad Nabi’s century stand lifted defending champion Karachi Kings to a six-wicket victory over Peshawar Zalmi.
The win lifted Karachi to the top of the table with eight points from five games. Peshawar are second with six points.
But Quetta’s victory after four straight losses ended a 13-match streak of teams successfully chasing down the targets since the tournament began on Feb. 20.
Quetta lost the toss for the fifth time in a row and posted 176-7 on the back of rookie opening batsman Usman Khan’s 81 off 50 balls.
Multan lost their last six wickets off 20 deliveries before eventually getting bowled out for 154 in 19.3 overs.
Zahid Mahmood was denied a hat trick when Ben Cutting dropped a sitter of Imran Tahir at long off after the legspinner had captain Mohammad Rizwan (66) and Sohail Khan (8) caught in the deep off successive deliveries in the 18th over.
Afghanistan legspinner Qais Ahmed (3-21) had earlier claimed wickets in his first three overs which pegged back Multan’s run-chase.
Multan and Quetta both are languishing at the bottom of the six-team event with two points each after playing half of their league games.
Earlier, Babar made an unbeaten 77 and Nabi scored 67 off 35 balls as they shared a 118-run fourth-wicket stand off 61 balls in Karachi’s strong chase of 191-4 in 19.3 overs.
After being put in to bat, Peshawar recovered from 3-34 to reach 188-5 with Ravi Bopara scoring an unbeaten 58 and Amad Butt making a rapid 27 off only seven deliveries.
“The way Babar Azam and Mohammad Nabi played, it was fantastic to see,” Karachi captain Imad Wasim said. “You just need to be patient on this surface and if you settle in, you can score a lot of runs.”
Fast bowler Daniel Christian bowled the most expensive over ever bowled in PSL history when he conceded 32 runs in the last over of the innings as Butt smashed two sixes and three boundaries while conceding six wides.
Peshawar’s scratchy fielding also helped Karachi as Butt dropped a sitter from Nabi at deep midwicket when the Afghanistan batsman was on 20. Nabi finally fell in the 17th over off Saqib Mahmood (2-41) after hitting eight fours and four sixes.
“Of course that was a very crucial catch, we should have gotten that catch,” stand-in Peshawar captain Shoaib Malik said as he led his side after regular skipper Wahab Riaz was ruled out of the game with back spasms. “In high-scoring games, whoever fields well has an edge in close games.”
Babar completed his third half century this season off 35 balls with a six off Butt over midwicket before Christian finished off the game with a flicked boundary.
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