Hendricks, Malan and pacers help Multan Sultans secure a solid start to HBL PSL 9

Multan: Multan Sultans, previous edition’s runners-up, have started HBL PSL 9 on a high note after they defeated Karachi Kings by a healthy margin of 55 runs at their home ground, Multan Cricket Stadium. Reeza Hendricks and Dawid Malan scored half-centuries to take the team to 185 in the first innings. In reply, Karachi Kings could only manage 130-8 in the allotted 20 overs.

After winning the toss, Karachi Kings skipper Shan Masood invited Multan Sultans to bat first. Sultans found themselves in trouble as left-arm pacer Mir Hamza struck on the first ball of the third over to take out captain Mohammad Rizwan, who walked back for a measly 11-ball 12 which included two boundaries.

Hendricks, on his HBL PSL debut, took charge from the get-go as he looked to capitalise in the powerplay. After joining opening batter Malan on the crease, the South African top-order batter helped stitch a 121-run second-wicket partnership to power the innings.

Malan completed his half-century before he fell to HBL PSL debutant Daniel Sams in the 17th over. The left-handed batter returned to the pavilion after scoring 52 on 41, with four boundaries and one maximum.

Khushdil Shah, next batter in, entertained the crowd with an unbeaten quickfire 13-ball 28 on the back of four boundaries. An unbroken 47-run partnership between Khushdil and Hendricks took Multan Sultans to 185 in 20 overs.

Hendricks, who contributed an undefeated 79 on 54 while showcasing seven fours and three sixes, was adjudged player of the match after he finished as the top run-getter of the game.

Sams and Hamza were the only two wicket-takers for Karachi Kings.

Chasing 186, Karachi Kings got off to a stuttering start. Opening batter James Vince (5, 4b, 1×4) was caught by Mohammad Ali at third man after David Willey managed to draw a thick outside edge on the second ball of the third over.

On the subsequent ball, Pakistan U19 captain Saad Baig copped a golden duck as Karachi Kings were reduced to 10-2 courtesy of Willey. The left-arm pacer’s lethal stint with the new ball justified Multan Sultans’ decision to choose the English bowler as the first pick of HBL PSL 9 player draft.

A 52-run third-wicket partnership between Shan and veteran Shoaib Malik allowed a semblance of stability in the innings. However, it was cut short in the ninth over when Shan (30, 31b, 4x4s, 1×6) was caught by Willey off leg-spinner Usama Mir.

Mohammad Nawaz joined Malik in the middle. The two batted together to add 37 to the total before right-arm pacer Abbas Afridi removed the latter in the 14th over. Malik had to walk back after hitting his 83rd T20 fifty making 53 on 35, on the back of five fours and two sixes.

In the same over, Nawaz was caught at extra cover by Hendricks for just seven runs as Karachi Kings slipped further into disarray.

The equation worsened for Karachi Kings in the 15th over as right-arm pacer Mohammad Ali, making his debut for Multan Sultans, returned with two wickets and just a run. In his subsequent over, he got Hamza out for a duck.

Keiron Pollard cleared the rope twice in the penultimate over aiming to reduce the deficit, however, with 67 required in the final two overs, the game had completely slipped out of Karachi Kings’ grasp.

Ali was the pick of the bowlers for Multan, as he grabbed three wickets while giving just 23 in his four overs as Multan Sultans registered a comprehensive win over Karachi Kings. Abbas – who picked up two for 16 in three overs – and Willey – giving 22 for two in four overs – supported Ali’s efforts. Usama also dismissed one batter.

Scores in brief:

Multan Sultans beat Karachi Kings by 55 runs

Multan Sultans 185-2, 20 overs (Reeza Hendricks 79 not out, Dawid Malan 52, Khushdil Shah 28 not out; Mir Hamza 1-30, Daniel Sams 1-37)

Karachi Kings 130-8, 20 overs (Shoaib Malik 53, Shan Masood 30, Kieron Pollard 28 not out; Mohammad Ali 3-23, Abbas Afridi 2-16, David Willey 2-22)

Player of the match – Reeza Hendricks (Multan Sultans)

Tomorrow’s fixture: Lahore Qalandars vs Quetta Gladiators, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore (1900 PKT)