PPFL. -File photo by White Star

KARACHI: The Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) stormed to the top of the Pakistan Premier League table after a thumping victory over Muslim FC while defending champions Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) could only draw with Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)’s victory over Baloch FC helped them move up the table while the match between Wohaib FC and PMC Athletico was postponed after heavy rains in Lahore.

The KESC, who so far look to be the best bet to wrest the title away from KRL, produced another commanding performance here at the KPT Stadium as they ripped apart Muslim FC 3-0.

Muslim FC showed little of the form that had seen them unbeaten in their opening three fixtures and fell behind to Mohammad Musa’s strike in the 10th minute.

The KESC were in no mood to let Muslim FC off the hook and created several chances which were kept out by a brilliant defensive display from Muslim FC.

But their efforts finally yielded a breakthrough when Mohammad Riaz struck in the 61st.

Their third goal came in stoppage time after Hayatullah’s foul inside the box gave the chance for Mohammad Essa to score in his third consecutive match from the penalty spot.

Essa’s virtuoso performances from midfield have been the catalyst for KESC’s strong early run which have seen them win four and draw two of their opening six matches.

KRL’s title defence started of in stunning style with four straight wins but draws in their last two matches has allowed KESC to get their noses in front on goal difference.

ZTBL shocked the hosts at the KRL Football Stadium in Rawalpindi when Iftikhar Ahmed struck moments before half-time. However, KRL bounced back immediately and Saadullah equalised within a minute of the restart.

But despite their efforts, the defending champions, who will be involved in the AFC President’s Cup later this month, could not find the winner.

Here at the Korangi Baloch Stadium, Ali Adeem Shehzad scored a 54th minute winner to give PIA a well-deserved victory.

Wednesday’s fixtures: HBL v Afghan FC (People’s Football Stadium, Karachi); NBP v Navy (KPT Football Stadium, Karachi).

Standings (Tabulated under teams, matches played, won, lost, drawn, goals scored, goals against, goal difference and points) KESC    6    4    0    2    11     2    6    14 KRL    6    4    0    2    9    3    6    14 NBP    7    3    0    4    10    4    6    13 PIA    5    2    1    2    5    3    2    8 Navy    7    2    3    2    5    10    -5    8 Wapda    3    2    0    1    4    1    3    7 Baloch FC    4    1    1    2    2    2    0    5 Muslim FC    4    1    1    2    3    5    -2    5 PAF    4    1    1    2    4    5    -1    4 KPT    6    1    4    1    4    8    -4    4 Afghan FC    2    1    1    0    2    2    0    3 HBL    5    0    2    3    2    6    -4    3 PMC Athletico    3    0    1    2    3    4    -1    2 ZTBL    3    0    1    2    2    5    -3    2 Wohaib FC    2    0    1    1    2    4    -2    1 Army    3    0    2    1    0    2    -2    1

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