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Karachi pulls off 10-run win against Peshawar in PSL game

Karachi Kings pulled off a 10-run victory over former champion Peshawar Zalmi on Friday in a high-scoring opening match of the Pakistan Super League.

Liam 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.

Karachi Kings captain Imad Wasim hits a boundary against Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League match at the National Stadium in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. Wicket keeper Kamran Akmal seen on left. (AP PhotoFareed Khan)

With Peshawar 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.

Players of Karachi Kings celebrate their victory against Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League match at the National Stadium in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. AP PhotoFareed Khan)

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.

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.

Kamran Akmal of Peshawar Zalmi hits a boundary against Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League match at the National Stadium in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (AP PhotoFareed Khan)

Opening batsman Sharjeel Khan could score only 19 in his comeback match after the lefthander was banned for spot-fixing during the 2017 PSL in the United Arab Emirates.

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.

Pakistani cricket fans arrive at the National Stadium to watch Pakistani Super League match between Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (AP PhotoFareed Khan)

Pakistan international Iftikhar Ahmed (16 not out) lifted Karachi’s total beyond the 200-run mark when he smashed two sixes and a four off Hasan’s last three deliveries as the fast bowler went for 21 runs in the last over of the innings.

Later 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.

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Pakistani cricket fans pass through security gates at the National Stadium to watch Pakistani Super League match between Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (AP PhotoFareed Khan)

Pakistani cricket fans show their tickets as they arrive at the National Stadium to watch Pakistani Super League match between Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (AP PhotoFareed Khan)

Karachi Kings captain Imad Wasim hits a six during his half century against Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League match at the National Stadium in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. Wicket keeper Kamran Akmal is seen on right. (AP PhotoFareed Khan)

Karachi Kings batsman Babar Azam plays an on drive during his half century against Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League match at the National Stadium in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. On the right is Peshawar Zalmi wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal. (AP PhotoFareed Khan)

Pakistani drummers perform outside the Gadaffi Stadium ahead of the Pakistani Super League match in Lahore, Pakistan, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (AP PhotoK.M. Chaudhry)