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Cricket news - Multan Sultans, Lahore Qalandars register maiden wins

Rahat Ali (pic) and Haris Rauf shared seven wickets between them to help defend a modest 138.

Islamabad United vs Multan Sultans

Multan Sultans opened their account in PSL 2019 with a five-wicket win over Islamabad United in the first game of Saturday's double-header. After restricting United to 125 from their allotted overs, courtesy a disciplined bowling effort, Sultans took longer than expected but knocked off the target with ease to pick up first points of the season.

Put in to bat first, United suffered a dramatic top and middle order collapse despite Luke Ronchi standing firm at one end. Ronchi hit a 33-ball 51, studded with five sixes, and was third dismissed when United's overall score was just 61. Contrasting knocks late in the day from Samit Patel and Faheem Ashraf - both contributing 20 each - took their team to a respectable 125. Ali Shafiq and Shahid Afridi were the pick of the bowlers, with combined figures of 4 for 29 from their eight overs.

Sultans lost Johnson Charles early in their chase but Shan Massod and Laurie Evans quickly got the team back on track with a 37-run partnership. The duo departed in quick succession but skipper Shoaib Malik took charge next. He stitched three slow but useful stands with Hammad Azam, Andre Russell and then Shahid Afridi to take their team over the line.

The equation was down to 14 required off 12 balls when Afridi sealed the deal with two back to back sixes in the penultimate over to help Sultans win by five wickets with eight balls to spare.

Brief scores: Islamabad United 125/7 in 20 overs (Luke Ronchi 51, Samit Patel 20*, Faheem Ashraf 20*; Ali Shafiq 2-11, Shahid Afridi 2-18) lost to Multan Sultans 126/5 in 18.4 overs (Shoaib Malin 31*, Shan Masood 26; Shahdab Khan 2-20) by 5 wickets.

Lahore Qalandars vs Karachi Kings

Lahore Qalandars defended a modest 138 against Karachi Kings to pick up their first win in PSL 2019, on Saturday night in Dubai. After being restricted to the modest score, Qalandars' pace duo of Rahat Ali and Haris Rauf ran through the Kings' line-up, sharing seven wickets between them, to hand them a 22-run loss in the rain-affected game.

Put in to bat first, Qalandars started positively with the openers putting on a 64-run stand in eight overs before being separated. However, once the partnership was broken, Qalandars failed to find the same momentum again as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Sohail Akhtar, who hit 39 off the 64 in the opening partnership, w as the top-scorer for Qalandar while Anton Devcich and Fakhar Zaman were the other significant contributors.

However, AB de Villiers' poor outing, followed by two run outs all at regular intervals never allowed them to pick up pace again. Consequently, Qalandars managed a sub-par score from their allotted overs.

The start to a seemingly easy chase for the Kings was spoilt by Shaheen Afridi, who bowled opener Liam Livingstone in the second over itself. However, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan steadied the ship with a 47-run second wicket stand. Azam fell after his 33-ball 34 but Kings still seemed on course with Rizwan and Colin Ingram taking them to 90 for 2 by the end of the 15th over.

However, Afridi brought Qalandars back in the game with the wicket of Ingram that opened the floodgates. And from there on, it was a Rauf-Ali show. None of the Kings' last seven batsmen, barring Imad Wasim, managed to score in double figures as the pace duo ran through the lower order, on either side of the rain break, to skittle Kings out for just 116 on the penultimate ball of the game.

Brief scores: Lahore Qalandars 138/6 in 20 overs (Sohail Akhtar 39, Anton Devcich 28; Umer Khan 2-25) beat Karachi Kings 116 all out in 19.5 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 34, Babar Azam 28; Haris Rauf 4-23, Rahat Ali 3-19, Shaheen Afridi 2-20) by 22 runs.

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