Karachi Kings' Umaid Asif (2L) celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Darren Sammy during the PSL T20 cricket match at the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi on Friday. AFP
Despite a brave effort by aggressive batsman Liam Livingstone and captain Darren Sammy, former champion Peshawar Zalmi went down fighting as Karachi Kings emerged victorious by 10 runs in the final over in the second match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 at the National Stadium Karachi on Friday.
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Livingstone’s unbeaten 54-run knock off 29 balls went in vain as Peshawar finished 191-7 in pursuit of a daunting target of 202 runs.
Livingstone hit three sixes and two fours and kept the 2017 champions in the hunt when he added 62 runs off 31 balls with captain Darren Sammy, who finally fell for 30 off 20 balls in the last over.
Spectators carry a poster featuring an image of Darren Sammy outside the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi. AFP
With Peshawar Zalmi needing 16 runs off the final six deliveries, fast bowler Umaid Asif (2-23) took a splendid catch off his own bowling as Sammy miscued a pull shot and the tall fast bowler ran backwards to pluck a brilliant diving catch at short midwicket.
"Umaid Asif bowled an outstanding last over and that helped us clinch the game," Karachi Kings batsman Babar Azam said.
Umaid was a standout bowler in the high-scoring match but Chris Jordan (2-39) had provided the early breakthrough when he trapped Tom Banton (13) leg before wicket and then clean bowled Pakistan under-19 batsman Haider Ali (2) in his second over.
Earlier, after being put in to bat, Karachi’s emphatic total of 201-4 revolved around half centuries by No.1-ranked Twenty20 batsman Babar and captain Imad Wasim.
Peshawar Zalmi's cricketers appeal for a runout against Karachi Kings's Sharjeel Khan (R). AFP
Babar hammered seven boundaries and two sixes in scoring 78 off 56 balls while Imad made 50 off 30 deliveries as both batsmen shared a 97-run third wicket stand off only 55 balls.
Babar was dropped on 72 when Shoaib Malik spilled an easy catch in the deep before Pakistan’s Twenty20 captain was run out in the 18th over while attempting a second run.
Opening batsman Sharjeel Khan could score only 19 in his comeback match after the lefthander was banned for spot-fixing during the 2017 PSL.
Pakistan international Hasan Ali also looked rusty on his return from a back injury.
Sharjeel pulled two sixes off Hasan early in the innings and the fast bowler conceded 52 runs off his four overs for the wickets of Sharjeel and Imad.
Later on Friday, Lahore Qalandars were to meet Multan Sultan at Gaddafi Stadium, which will be hosting 14 PSL matches as Pakistan’s premier domestic Twenty20 tournament has returned home in its entirety after four years.
The selectors have included three exciting uncapped pace bowlers in 19-year-old Mohammad Wasim Junior, 20-year-old Arshad Iqbal, and 22-year-old Shahnawaz Dhani in multiple squads. Ace leg-spinner Yasir Shah will miss the tour as he is recovering from a knee injury.
The sixth PSL begins on Feb.20 with Karachi hosting the first 20 games before the Twenty20 competition moves to Lahore, which hosts the remaining 14 matches, including the final on March 22.
"The universe boss is here in Pakistan alright," he said in a video message released by the team. "All my Pakistan fans, I am looking forward to entertaining you... so stay tuned."
The Multan Sultans cruised to victory courtesy Mohammad Rizwan and Sohaib Maqsood's flashy 110-run, third wicket partnership. Earlier, Lahore Qalandars had set a target of 158 for the Multan Sultans courtesy Mohammad Hafeez's 60 off 30 balls.
Sheikh Mohammed said in a welcoming speech to the official booklet of the tournament: We are pleased to welcome our honorable guests participating in the twenty-seventh launch of the Dubai World Cup, this global event that embodies within it the noble values of equestrian and its knights who come from all countries of the world to compete for the precious titles in the evening.
A confident Afghanistan will fancy their chances of a series victory against a depleted Pakistan in the three-match T20 series, which gets under way at the iconic Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday.
Pakistan's captain in all formats of cricket, was given the award by Governor of Pakistan's Punjab state Muhammad Baligh.