Defending champions Multan Sultans defeated Karachi Kings by seven wickets in the opening match of the Pakistan Super League at the National Stadium in Karachi in Thursday night.
Star batsman Mohammad Rizwan continued his great form as he hit an unbeaten 52 off 47 balls, helping Multan cruise to 126-3 with 10 balls to spare after South Africa leg-spinner Imran Tahir took 3-16 and restricted Karachi to 124-5.
However, the pandemic remained the main talking point at the start of the tournament with several players like Wahab Riaz and Kamran Akmal of Peshawar Zalmi and Imad Wasim of Karachi going into isolation. Veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi was the latest to test positive on Thursday and was ruled out of Quetta Gladiators’ first four games.
Afridi, who was due to miss at least two games due to back pain, will remain in isolation for at least one week before he being reintegrated with his team in a bio-secure bubble.
Karachi missed all-rounder Wasim, who helped the team win the tournament in 2020 but has now been replaced by Babar Azam as skipper. To make things worse for Karachi, fast bowler Mohammad Amir had to sit out the first game due to a side strain.