Karachi Kings' Joe Clarke (C) is dismissed by Peshawar Zalmi's Liam Livingstone (R) during the match. AFP
Karachi Kings suffered their sixth successive loss in the Pakistan Super League as Peshawar Zalmi handed the 2020 champion a 55-run defeat on Sunday.
Nothing seemed to go right for the injury-hit Karachi team, led by Babar Azam, as its batters yet again struggled and reached just 138-6.
Peshawar had earlier capitalized on sloppy Karachi fielding to score 193-6 with the opening pair of Hazratullah Zazai (52) and 20-year-old debutant Mohammad Haris (49) providing a rollicking start of 97 runs from 10 overs.
Australian Ben Cutting provided a late flourish to Peshawar’s total with a breezy 26 off 15 balls that included three boundaries against Chris Jordan (3-41) in the 19th over.
Babar had scored an unbeaten 90 against Peshawar in the first-leg at Karachi in a losing cause and again on Sunday his 59 runs off 46 balls were not enough.
"The drop chances and death bowling led to a score that was well over par,” Babar said. "We played poorly in the powerplay and that cost us the match … but they bowled well and deserve credit for it.”
Power-hitter Sharjeel Khan’s struggles in the powerplay continued before he holed out in the fifth over after scoring 14 off 16 balls as Karachi slipped to 33-1 in the first six overs.
Fast bowlers Salman Irshad (2-24) and captain Wahab Riaz (2-26) didn’t allow Babar and Joe Clarke to score freely as the boundaries dried up for Karachi.
Liam Livingstone (1-22) also bowled three tidy overs in the middle and had Clarke clean bowled off his legspin for a run-a-ball 26.
Babar got little support from the other end to pace the chase before Irshad had him leg before wicket off a full-pitched delivery in the 17th over.
Karachi are on the brink of elimination, needing not only to win their remaining four league games but also hoping results elsewhere go in their favor. Peshawar are still in the race for the playoff with six points from seven games.
Babar made an unbeaten 77 and Nabi scored 67 off 35 balls as they shared a 118-run fourth-wicket stand off 61 balls in Karachi’s strong chase of 191-4 in 19.3 overs. Earlier, after being put in to bat, Peshawar recovered from 3-34 to reach 188-5 with Ravi Bopara scoring an unbeaten 58 and Amad Butt making a rapid 27 off only seven deliveries.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and owners of the six clubs made the decision on Thursday, a week after the Twenty20 league was postponed.
The toss didn’t go in favour of Karachi skipper Babar Zaman for the third successive game and his team, despite Sharjeel Khan’s 60, was restricted to 170-7 in its 20 overs.
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