Babar Azam hit his second successive half-century in the Pakistan Super League and anchored Karachi Kings to a seven-wicket win over Multan Sultans on Saturday.
Babar’s unbeaten 90 off 60 balls — including 13 fours and a six — led Karachi to 198-3 with seven balls to spare in yet another successful chase in Pakistan’s premier Twenty20 league.
Multan had earlier spoiled a blistering start and were restricted to 195-6 as Karachi skipper Imad Wasim followed a familiar script of captains putting the opposition in to bat after winning the toss.
Meanwhile, during the 16th over of the Multan’s innings, Arshad Iqbal, while trying to pull off a back-of-the-hand slower ball, bowled a bizarre full toss delivery against Shoaib Maqsood.
Iqbal also got a warning from the on-field umpire. The right-arm medium pacer eventually finished with figures of 2/36.
In the second innings, Englishman Joe Clarke (54 off 26 balls) took the game away from Multan by combining in an electrifying stand of 97 runs with Babar. Clarke smashed four sixes against spinners Shahid Afridi and Khushdil Shah and also hit three boundaries in his robust half-century before he was caught at short fine leg while attempting to ramp a slow bouncer from Shanawaz Dhani (2-28).
Earlier, Multan failed to cash in on Chris Lynn’s robust start (32 off 14 balls) and were cruising along at 72-1 in the first six overs of batting powerplay.
James Vince (45) and skipper Mohammad Rizwan (43) both fell in successive overs of fast bowler Arshad Iqbal (2-36) as Multan slipped to 133-3 in the 14th over.
Karachi came back strongly in the last five overs with their fast bowlers leaking only one boundary. Left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Amir, who earlier started with a maiden over, bowled seven wide balls in his next three overs but got the dangerman Shahid Afridi (3) in the 19th over to finish with 1-34.
After its third loss, Multan slipped to fifth in the six-team event with a solitary win against Lahore Qalandars, who are due to meet Islamabad United in Saturday’s other league match.
(With AP Inputs)