MULTAN, Pakistan (AP) — Multan Sultans pulled off a sensational three-run victory over Karachi Kings for their fourth straight home win in PSL 2023 on Wednesday.
Captain Mohammad Rizwan’s blistering unbeaten 110 off 64 balls — his maiden PSL century — powered Multan to a strong 196-2.
James Vince (75 off 34 balls) nearly upstaged Rizwan by plundering six sixes and seven fours as Karachi motored to 72-0 inside the first six overs of batting powerplay before ending up at a frustrating 193-5 for their fourth loss in five games.
Multan fell to defending champions Lahore Qalandars in its season opener but has since beaten the remaining four franchises: Quetta Gladiators, Peshawar Zalmi, Islamabad United and Karachi.
Multan pulled back nicely when leg-spinner Usama Mir had Matthew Wade (20) trapped leg before wicket off his first ball and Vince got run-out after Haider Ali refused to go for a quick single in the 10th over.
Fast bowler Ihsanullah and left-arm spinner Khushdil Shah bowled impeccably in the middle-overs before captain Imad Wasim brought Karachi back in the hunt at the back end of the run-chase with an unbeaten 46 off 26 balls which featured five towering sixes.
Needing 22 off fast bowler Abbas Afridi’s final over, Imad and Ben Cutting hit a six each and brought down the target to six runs off four deliveries. However, Cutting holed out at long off and Afridi kept his nerve on the final two deliveries to pull off a thrilling finish.
Rizwan’s tally followed his three half centuries in the last four games and left-hander Shan Masood (51) finally raised his first half century this season against a weakened Karachi bowling attack.
Fast bowler Mohammad Amir was ruled out of the game due to a groin injury and his replacement — paceman Mohammad Umar (44-1) — proved too expensive.
Rizwan struggled early in the innings but dominated both pace and spin in the second half of the innings after Masood holed out at deep square leg which ended up a solid 85-run opening stand off 62 balls.
Rizwan played exquisite shots on both sides of the wickets that included 10 fours and four sixes as he also dominated the spin of Imran Tahir and Shoaib Malik with sweep shots.
Rizwan raised his century in the penultimate over by smashing fast bowler Akif Javed for two sixes before scampering for two runs by cutting the pacer on the off-side as he anchored Multan to a challenging total.
Peshawar, led by Pakistan all-format captain Babar Azam, will face two-time champions Islamabad United on Thursday.