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Clarke fireworks, Iqbal spell help rampant Kings begin campaign with huge win
Match Report

Clarke fireworks, Iqbal spell help rampant Kings begin campaign with huge win

Joe Clarke smacked a sizzling 46 while Arshad Iqbal starred with a terrific bowling effort as Karachi Kings decimated Quetta Gladiators by an emphatic margin to kick off their PSL 2021 campaign in style.

Karachi skipper Imad Wasim won the toss and elected to field first - a decision that immediately paid dividends for the home side.

Following a glittering opening ceremony, the attention shifted towards the cricket action with the sparsely filled stadium yearning to catch a glimpse of the likes of Chris Gayle, Tom Banton and Babar Azam.

In a daring move, Quetta captain Sarfaraz Ahmed promoted himself up the order to open the innings alongside Banton but the experiment did not yield significant rewards.

Imad took the honours of picking up the first wicket of the tournament when he had Banton sky an ill-fated slog to Clarke on the fourth ball of the match.

Sarfaraz's pedestrian knock of seven was ended by Aamer Yamin before 'Universe Boss' Gayle decided to inject impetus into Quetta's innings.

Gayle creamed a couple of delectable maximums and promised to cut loose with a big score in his first outing in Pakistan in 15 years. However, he became Daniel Christian's victim and the Gladiators' prospects of reaching a competitive total were rendered pointless.

The lower-order capitulated under the fast bowling onslaught from Karachi as a string of low scores condemned Quetta to 121 all out in 18.2 overs.

Karachi's emerging pick Arshad was at the center of the Gladiators' implosion with the youngster registering three wickets in a frugal spell of bowling.

Quetta began their defence of the paltry total with the huge scalp of Sharjeel Khan upfront by Mohammad Hasnain.

The rookie pacer kept things tight at one end but Nottinghamshire batsman Clarke demonstrated supreme power-hitting to pummel the Gladiators into submission.

Naseem Shah and Qais Ahmad were at the receiving end of Clarke's blazing wrath. The Englishman first plundered Naseem for three fours and a six in five balls before nailing Qais for three boundaries and two maximums in an over that cost Karachi 27 runs.

Although Clarke perished soon after, he cemented his team's stranglehold on the proceedings. A flurry of sixes from Mohammad Nabi towards the closing moments of the game ensured Karachi finished the contest with 37 balls to spare - their biggest win in the PSL.

To make things sweeter for Karachi Kings, Babar overtook Kamran Akmal to become the leading run-getter in PSL history as he contributed 24 runs to his team's victory.