The second match of the Pakistan Super League just wrapped up, and what a match it was! Karachi Kings posted a strong total of 183-6. When it seemed Multan Sultans were out of the game, captain Shoaib Malik and co. nearly pulled Multan back into it. In the end, Karachi won by just seven runs, restricting Multan to 176-9. There were a few standout performances which truly made this match special from both sides. Let’s break down the winners and losers from Karachi Kings vs Multan Sultans.
Winners and losers: Karachi Kings vs Multan Sultans
Winner: Karachi’s openers
Karachi’s batting has generally been weak over the last few seasons, but the one tower which stands tall is the one with Babar Azam’s name engraved on it. Today, Babar Azam and debutant Liam Livingstone put up a PSL-record 157-run partnership, in which Babar Azam scored 77(59) and Livingstone impressively added 82 off just 43.
Loser: Karachi’s middle order
To the concern of Karachi fans, we still did witness a short display of poor batting from the Kings. After the fall of Livingstone, all six wickets fell for just 21 runs, all six wickets being catches. In the upcoming matches, the openers will not always put on massive stands, so the other batsmen must get their game right.
Winner: Laurie Evans
Also on PSL debut, Laurie Evans performed really well with the bat through his 49 off 39, which comprised of seven fours. When Multan was batting quite slow, facing pressure from Karachi’s bowling, Evans, along with Malik, lifted Multan, lowering the required run rate, nearly giving Multan the win.
Loser: Tom Moores
The wicket-keeper for Multan was also opening, but he didn’t last long. After playing four dots against Karachi captain Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir, the one time Moore connects the ball, he gets caught at point by Colin Ingram and has to walk off for just 1(6).
Winner: Captain Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik played a real captain’s innings, first making sure he became settled and didn’t lose his wicket, then looking to score quickly. He did exactly that in his 52(28). His five fours and two sixes were extremely valuable, including 22 runs off of one over of Sohail Khan. Thanks to Malik’s eight overs of batting, he managed to take Multan from 52-2 to 139-5.
Loser: Ravi Bopara
Generally a stable middle order batsman, Bopara was known to save Karachi in tough situations in the first season. I remember quite fondly my friends and I would chant, “Ravi Bopara aayeinge, Karachi ko bachayeinge!” (Urdu: Ravi Bopara will arrive, he will save Karachi!). But today, Bopara was quite expensive in his bowling and removed pressure off of the Multan batsmen. His only two overs went for 33 runs without a wicket before he was withdrawn from the bowling attack.
Winner: Umer Khan
Just 19 years of age, on T20 debut, played only one First Class match before (taking seven wickets in that match), Umer Khan bowled really well, adding pressure upon Multan. Despite going for four on his first ball, Umer Khan finished with figures of 1-9 with an economy of 4.5. The future of bowling looks good for both Khan and Karachi if he plays more matches.
Winner: Mohammad Amir
In Dubai today, Mohammad Amir was truly at his best. 4-25 in his four overs, two in his first over and two in his last over, including clean bowling Shahid Afridi in the second-to-last over. Amir was easily the pick of the bowlers today.
Winner: Sohail Khan
In his first three overs, Sohail Khan was extremely expensive, finishing off by conceding 57 runs. But he was given the task of defending 16 from the last over and did just that, including picking up the two wickets of Chris Green and Mohammad Ilyas. Karachi Kings went on to win the match by seven runs thanks to his bowling.
There you have it everyone, the winners and losers of Karachi Kings vs Multan Sultans. The winners and losers of Karachi Kings vs Multan Sultans made a big impact in this game, but how will they do in their next? Karachi’s next game will be against Lahore Qalandars, who lost their first game against Islamabad United Thursday, on Saturday. Multan goes up against winners Islamabad United on Saturday as well, both games in Dubai.