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Multan hands Lahore third straight loss in PSL, Karachi tops Peshawar

Multan hands Lahore third straight loss in PSL, Karachi tops Peshawar

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Multan Sultans continued their dream start by handing defending champion Lahore Qalandars their third straight loss in the Pakistan Super League on Wednesday.

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Earlier at Lahore, experienced power-hitter Kieron Pollard upstaged Babar Azam’s landmark Twenty20 and led Karachi Kings to an emphatic seven-wicket win over Peshawar Zalmi.

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Pollard bludgeoned an unbeaten 49 off 21 balls with four towering sixes and four boundaries as the veteran West Indian helped Karachi cruise to 157-3 in 16.5 overs for its first win in the tournament.

Babar’s landmark 271st T20 in which he became the fastest batter to reach 10,000 runs saw Peshawar getting bowled out for 154 in 19.5 overs after Karachi won the toss and elected to field.

Babar followed his half-century in the first game against Quetta Gladiators with a knock of 72 off 51 balls, but his effort went in vain for the second successive game.

Chris Gayle of the West Indies held the previous record of reaching the 10,000-run milestone in 275 T20 games.

Peshawar’s innings revolved around Babar’s brilliance after it lost three wickets inside the batting powerplay with Shoaib Malik clean bowling Saim Ayub off the first ball with a full pitched delivery that didn’t turn much.

Hasan Ali, playing against his former franchise, also had a dream start when he knocked back Tom Kohler-Cadmore’s off stump off his first ball.

Babar revived the innings with Rovman Powell (39) in a 68-run stand and Asif Ali scored 23 before Peshawar lost its last six wickets for only 18 runs in the last four overs. Powell top-edged reverse sweep against left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz and Ali holed out at long-on.

Left-arm fast bowler Mir Hamza (3-28), who bowled to hard lengths with the new ball, chipped in with the wickets of Aamer Jamal and then took a fine return catch to dismiss Babar in his last over as Peshawar innings folded quickly.

Pollard brought an early finish when he smashed three straight sixes and two fours in a 27-run over against Afghanistan left-arm wrist spinner Waqar Salamkheil, one of the two changes Peshawar made in the team which lost the first match by 16 runs. Salamkheil conceded 54 off his four overs and got Malik stumped for run-a-ball 29.

James Vince remained unbeaten on 38 and denied Pollard a much deserved half century when he drove Luke Wood (2-20) for a winning boundary.

Karachi, which lost its first game against Multan by 55 runs, has two points from two games while Peshawar is still looking for its first win.

Iftikhar Ahmed smashed 24 runs in the penultimate over and earned Multan a five-wicket win over defending champion Lahore in a rematch of last season’s final.

Lahore’s much trumpeted pace attack, led by Shaheen Shah Afridi, has now failed to defend in three successive games as Haris Rauf continued to struggle in three games and Zaman also proving expensive (2-52).

Multan now sits pretty on top of table with six points from three straight home wins while Lahore is yet to get first win under its belt.

Skipper Mohammad Rizwan, who was dropped on 40 by Afridi, went on to compile this season’s top-score of 82 off 59 balls before Ahmed charged against Zaman’s pace in the 19th over, smacking two sixes and three fours and guided the home team to 170-5.

Iftikhar wiped the hopes of Lahore for its first win with a robust knock of unbeaten 34 off 11 balls after the home team needed 21 off the last two overs.

The inclusion of left-arm spinner George Linde (1-26) of South Africa seemed to have beefed up Lahore’s bowling in the absence of injured Rashid Khan when he bowled brilliantly in the middle overs after Lahore posted 166-5 but Iftikhar’s onslaught against Zaman sealed the game.

Earlier, Rassie van der Dussen (54) scored his second half-century in three games and Fakhar Zaman made 41 as they put on 94 runs for the second-wicket stand and pushed for a daunting total before Multan pulled back despite dropping four catches.

Khushdil Shah, who dropped two catches in the last game against Islamabad United, floored two more chances on Wednesday, but fast bowler Mohammad Ali (2-28) continued to impress with his swing and variations which restricted Lahore in the end.


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