Karachi Kings got off to the perfect start in the Pakistan Super League with a nail biting seven-run win over Multan Sultans in Dubai on Friday.
Chasing 184 for victory, Multan Sultans ran Karachi close but fell away in the final stages ultimately with their score bring restricted to 176-9.
Batting first, Karachi Kings openers Babar Azam and Liam Livingstone got off to a flying start with the pair putting on a record 157-run partnership for the first wicket.
Both the batsmen threw caution to the winds but it was Livingstone who caught the eye with a 43-ball 82 that contained six sixes and as many boundaries.
Babar, on the other hand, went past the 3,000-run mark in T20 cricket as he brought up a fine half-century. The Pakistan stalwart ultimately fell for a 59-ball 77, triggering a late Karachi collapse which saw them ultimately restricted to 183-6.
In contrast, Multan Sultans’ openers Tom Moores and Shan Masood started poorly in the chase with the first boundary not coming until towards the end of the fourth over. The former perished to Mohammad Amir as the run-rate pressure built up while the latter fell to Karachi youngster Umer Khan while attempting a big hit.
After being 59-2 at the 10-over mark, Multan upped the ante through skipper Shoaib Malik and Laurie Evans. Malik scored a staggering 33 runs in a sensational sequence of just eight deliveries during his innings to get Multan’s chase back on track.
Shoaib Malik hits Ravi Bopara to all parts!— Cricingif (@_cricingif) February 15, 2019
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details 👉 https://t.co/175sMWpI0B #PSL2019 #MSvKK #KhelDeewanoKa #CricketForAll pic.twitter.com/sAPHQ5bb8r
Malik brought up a 24-ball half-century but Evans missed out on his by a whisker after he was run-out for 49 by Usman Shinwari.
However, once Malik and Andre Russell fell in the space of four deliveries, the Kings had got their noses in front once again.
Veteran Shahid Afridi and youngster Hammad Azam added a late twist with some crisp hitting but Mohammad Amir held his nerve for Karachi with a four-wicket haul to seal the win.
Karachi Kings: 183-6 (20 overs)
Liam Livingstone: 82 (43)
Babar Azam: 77 (59)
Multan Sultans: 176-9 (20 overs)
Shoaib Malik: 52 (28)
Laurie Evans: 49 (39)
Mohammad Amir: 4-25 (four overs)
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