The defending champions, Multan Sultans, defeated Karachi Kings in the first match of the seventh edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) on Thursday, 27 January. In every way, the Sultans led by Mohammad Rizwan outplayed them.
Despite a 66-run opening partnership, the host side was held to just 124/5 in 20 overs when they batted first. Multan’s bowlers, led by experienced campaigner Imran Tahir, bowled brilliantly to restrict Karachi’s scoring opportunities. With three wickets for 16 runs, Tahir was the major destroyer.
This was the lowest completed first innings total in PSL history with a loss of 5 wickets or less.
Previously, Karachi’s 128/5 versus Islamabad United in the inaugural edition of the tournament held the record for the lowest first-innings score with five or fewer wickets lost.
The four lowest completed first innings scores in PSL history are as follows:
|Karachi Kings||124/5||Multan Sultans||2022|
|Karachi Kings||128/5||Islamabad United||2016|
|Lahore Qalandars||133/5||Karachi Kings||2019|
|Quetta Gladiators||148/5||Peshawar Zalmi||2020|
The early wicket of skipper Babar Azam was the main cause for Karachi’s poor performance. Following Sharjeel Khan’s quick-fire 43 at the top, the stage was set for Karachi to build on and post a large total. Babar, who is known for anchoring innings, however, threw his wicket when attempting to smash Khushdil Shah for a six. With a strike rate of just 79.31, the skipper scored 23 runs off 29 balls.
Babar’s second-slowest innings in the PSL (minimum 25 balls faced).
Consider Babar Azam’s five slowest innings thus far in the tournament:
|Score||Balls Faced||Strike Rate||Vs Team||Year|
The wicket of Babar put undue strain on the inexperienced batting line. The Sultans spinners weaved a web around Karachi hitters to restrict them to a below-par score, thanks to the wicket’s fluctuating nature.
In response, Mohammad Rizwan’s undefeated half-century guided his team to an easy seven-wicket victory with 10 balls to spare to start their championship defence.