MULTAN: James Vince’s blistering 75 and skipper Imad Wasim’s crucial 46-run knock went in vain as Multan Sultans held their nerves calm to edge Karachi Kings by three runs in the high-scoring Pakistan Super League (PSL) eight thriller on Wednesday.
Set to chase 197, the Kings fell just three runs short as the side could finish at 194/5 despite a heroic knock by their captain Imad.
Earlier, the Kings openers gave their side a flying start as they added brisk 72 runs in just six overs with Vince leading the charge as he struck the fastest half-century of the ongoing edition in just 20 deliveries.
Usama Mir then broke the shackles for the Sultans soon after the powerplay as he dismissed Matthew Wade on the first delivery of his spell to script his side’s comeback in the run chase. Wade could score 20 off 14 deliveries.
Meanwhile, Vince carried on to charge on the Sultans’ bowlers amid his 33-run partnership with Haider Ali before a mixup between the wickets brought curtains on his great knock. The right-handed batter top-scored for the Kings with a 34-ball 75 that featured seven boundaries and six sixes.
The Kings then endured another setback in the run chase when Khushdil Shah removed Haider in the 12th over and the visitors consequently slipped to 113/3.
Following the slump, veteran batter Shoaib Malik and skipper Imad attempted to anchor the run chase as the pair added 35 runs for the fourth wicket before the latter fell in the 17th over after scoring 13 off 19.
Skipper Imad, however, kept the game alive with belligerent hitting as he took Mohammad Ilyas to the cleaners in the 19th over but Abbas Afridi held his composure in the tense final over and successfully defended 22 runs to steer his side to glory.
Imad remained unbeaten with a brisk 47-run knock in just 26 balls, laced with five sixes.
Abbas led the bowling attack for the Sultans with 2/55 while Usama and Khushdil could pick up a wicket.
Put into bat first by the Kings, the Sultans piled up a mammoth 196/1 in their set of 20 overs with their skipper Mohammad Rizwan leading the charge with a magnificent century.
The home side started off well against the Kings as their openers Masood and Rizwan laid a solid foundation for a massive total with a brilliant 85-run opening partnership with Masood scoring his first half-century of the ongoing season.
Experienced all-rounder Shoaib Malik then provided a much-needed breakthrough to the Kings as he removed Masood soon after the latter got to his fifty. He scored 51 off 33 deliveries with the help of six boundaries and a six.
Masood’s dismissal did not bother the Sultans’ march for a big total much as Rizwan then joined hands with in-form Rilee Rossouw and put on an astonishing 109-run partnership before the latter perished in the final over after scoring 29 off 21 balls, hitting four boundaries.
Rizwan remained the core aggressor of his century-plus stand with Rossouw and brought up his century before carrying his bat all the way through and leading the Sultans to 196/2.
Rizwan top-scored for his side with an unbeaten 110 off 64 deliveries, laced with 10 boundaries and four sixes.
For the Kings, Malik and Mohammad Umar made one scalp each.