LAHORE: Multan Sultans rebounded swiftly from the first defeat of their campaign. Karachi Kings just can’t even get a consolation win.
Sultans’ seven-wicket victory over the Kings on Wednesday night was a predictable outcome in the HBL Pakistan Super League clash between the sides who sit top and bottom of the standings. But the Kings had their moments at the Gaddafi Stadium and while this clash didn’t go down to the wire, like their previous one against United which was decided on the last ball, this one went to the final over.
Umaid Asif had nine runs to defend but Rilee Roussow clinched Sultans’ seventh win this season with three balls to spare when he lifted the Kings pacer over mid wicket for six. It was a game that could’ve gone either way when Sultans, already through to the playoffs, needed 34 to win off the last 14 deliveries in their chase of 175 having just lost the explosive Tim David.
But Rossouw (14 not out) finished the 18th over with a boundary before Khushdil Shah (21 not out) took centerstage. He first pulled Chris Jordan for a six before getting a thumping boundary through long-on. Another six over extra cover followed as 20 runs came off the penultimate over with Khushdil setting up the stage for Rossouw to finish things off.
The Sultans had made a sedate start with captains Mohammad Rizwan (76) and Shan Masood (45) putting up a partnership of 100.
They struck only six boundaries in the power play and the Sultans were 71-0 after the first 10.
Shan, who hit six fours, fell in the 15th over when Mohammad Nabi snapped a catch on the boundary off Mir Hamza.
Rizwan added another 23 runs with David before he was dismissed by Jordan while trying to get the scoring rate up. He had eight hits to the fence.
Kings had dried out the runs for Sultans and they were rewarded when David holed out to Joe Clarke, giving Hamza his second wicket.
But Rossouw and Khushdil ensured there was no sting in the tail for the Sultans who had lost to Lahore Qalandars in their previous outing.
Having opted to bat, Kings lost Babar Azam early after their skipper missed the line of Rumman Raees’ delivery which struck him on the pad.
Clarke (40) and opener Sharjeel Khan (36) helped Kings regroup with a 72-run stand with the former using the long handle.
In his 29-ball knock, Clarke dispatched two sixes off Imran Tahir before the South African veteran avenged that by getting him caught at cover in the 11th over. Sharjeel, who had smashed both Rumman and Tahir for a six each, joined Clarke in the dugout in the next over when he found Aamer Azmat at deep midwicket off Khushdil.
Qasim Akram (13), whose half-century in the previous game against Islamabad United almost took the Kings to victory, and Rohail Nazir (21) took their side past the 100-run mark before they were dismissed in consecutive overs. Qasim had just launched a six off Shahnawaz Dahani but the Sultans pacer had him caught by David and Rohail followed in similar fashion. Having cracked back-to-back boundaries of Blessing Muzarabani, Rohail’s leading edge landed to Shan at cover.
But Imad Wasim, another of Kings’ nearly heroes against United with a half-century, and Nabi ensured Kings put up a sizable total on the board.
Imas smashed Shahnawaz for a six over deep fine leg in the 16th over before Rumman was hit for fours by both Imad and Nabi in the following over.
Rumman returned to bowl the penultimate over and was welcomed by Imad with a four on the first delivery to bring up 150 for the Kings and added another boundary on the final ball of that over.
Nabi, who was dropped by Shan with the score on 142, hit Shahnawaz for a six on the second ball of the final over but was dismissed on the next ball before Imad finished with a flourish, hitting two boundaries on the last three deliveries.
That didn’t prove enough for the Sultans and it’s now eight defeats in a row for Kings. They’re running out of time — and matches — as they look to avoid becoming the first side to have lost all their matches in a single campaign.