Arshad Iqbal celebrates after taking the wicket of Azam Khan (not pictured) at the National Stadium in Karachi on Saturday. AFP
Karachi Kings defeated Quetta Gladiators by seven wickets in the opening match the fifth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) on Saturday.
After restricting Gladiators to a paltry 121 all out, Kings roped to victory for the loss of three wickets only with 37 balls remaining.
Arshad Iqbal was the wrecker-in-chief as he accounted for the three dismissals, conceding only 16 runs in his three overs to help Kings set up a thumping win in the first match and set the tone for the tournament.
Joe Clarke was the highest scorer as he smashed a 23-ball 46 with the help of six fours and three sixes.
Chris Gayle walks back while Karachi Kings players celebrate his dismissal. AP
Meanwhile, one player has tested positive for coronavirus while another player and an official were quarantined after breaching disease protocols ahead of the start of the Pakistan Super League in Karachi on Saturday.
Six teams are vying for the title in the sixth edition of the Twenty20 league, which runs from February 20 to March 22 in Karachi and Lahore.
“A player from a franchise team who had shown symptoms and was in isolation has tested positive,” the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement.
“He will now remain in quarantine for 10 days and will require two negative tests in order to rejoin the side.”
The identity of the player was not disclosed.
Separately, a player and an official from another team were placed under a three-day quarantine after they came into contact with a person outside the league’s bio-secure bubble on Friday.
Cricket fans cheer while they arrive at the National Stadium to watch PSL opening match. AP
“The two individuals will now require two negative tests during the three-day quarantine period before they can re-enter the bio-secure bubble in accordance with the re-entry protocols,” the board said.
The PCB said it was disappointed that two people had shown carelessness and violated the bio-secure bubble protocols.
“As reiterated previously, the health and safety of all individuals associated with PSL (Pakistan Super League) is of paramount importance to the PCB and the event,” it said.
Crowds at 20 percent of capacity will be allowed to watch the matches under strict Covid-19 protocols.
Cricket fans watch PSL opening match. AP
In last year’s league four matches had to be played without crowds in February before three play-offs and the final were cancelled after England player Alex Hales showed symptoms of Covid-19.
The matches were rescheduled to November in a closed stadium, when Karachi Kings won the title. Karachi play Quetta Gladiators in the opening match on Saturday.
Chasing an easy total of 136, Kings went over the line with four balls to spare. Sharjeel Khan and Babar Azam gave them a flying start, amassing 60 runs in just five overs
"They (owners) made it very clear that the players were not in a mental state to continue,” PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said in Karachi.
Fakhar Zaman led the way with 76 while fellow opener Abid Ali scored 74 and Haris Sohail 56. It was Amir who gave Pakistan an early breakthrough when he had Avishka Fernando caught behind for four by Sarfaraz Ahmed,
Billed as one of the strongest powerlifting championships to be organized by the Asian Powerlifting Federation, around 612 athletes representing 34 countries will take part in the event.
Germany will next face Costa Rica, which defeated Japan 1-0 earlier Sunday. Even a win may not be enough for the Germans, who are in last place in Group E and need the other result to go their way. Spain can reach the last 16 with a draw against Japan.
t was a fourth start already this season for the tough gelding who was improving with each outing as the campaign has progressed and is now the winner of four races, this being his first success away from the Meydan dirt track.
Sheikh Hamdan also sent congratulatory message to the Morocco: “Congratulations to the Atlas Lions... Congratulations to Morocco. You made all Arabs happy with this result. Your victory is deserved and your performance is heroic.”