The Karachi Kings defeated the Quetta Gladiators by 19 runs in their opening match of the 2018 Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Dubai on Friday.
The Kings won the toss and opted to bat first, sending openers Khurram Manzoor and Joe Denly to the pitch. Manzoor has been in immaculate form recently, having scored three centuries in the last four matches he played in the regional One-Day Cup.
The Kings lost their first wicket, Denly, in the fifth over to Australian legend Shane Watson.
The first innings opened with a volley of boundaries from both Denly and Manzoor off bowlers Anwar Ali, Jofra Archer, and Watson. Both batsman smacked two 4s apiece before Denly was run out by Watson.
Azam, who scored 11 runs off 10 balls, was caught out by wicketkeeper Sarfraz off a delivery from Rahat Ali in the 10th over, and replaced by Colin Ingram.
Manzoor was caught out by Asad Shafiq off Anwar Ali in the 13th over, bringing Ravi Bopara out to the pitch.
The Kings brought up their 100 in the 15th over.
Colin Ingram dispatched Anwar Ali for a huge six in the 15th over.
The Kings lost Ingram in the 17th over.
It was Shahid Afridi's turn to bat as Boom Boom arrived in the middle amid loud cheers.
But those hoping for a Bopara-Afridi partnership were left disappointed as the Englishman soon went back to the pavilion.
The Kings lost their captain Imad Wasim off the bowling of Jofra Archer.
Gladiators' Aussie all-rounder Shane Watson bowled a death over for the ages, claiming three wickets, all but ending the Kings' hopes of a sizable total.
Watson first castled Afridi.
The Aussie then made Mohammad Irfan his next victim on the follow-up delivery.
His final prey was Mohammad Rizwan, who departed in this fashion:
The Kings finished their innings with a measly single.
In reply, Shane Watson and Asad Shafiq opened the innings for the Gladiators, who lost Watson early following a farcical mix-up.
Shafiq soon joined Watson in the dugout as the Kings gained an upper hand.
Pietersen, who is playing his last T20 tournament, also departed off the bowling of Tymal Mills.
The seventh over was the first big one for the Gladiators, who plundered 14 off it. It featured this might blow from Rilee Rossouw.
Rossouw tried taking Imad Wasim on but ended up getting caught at long on as the Gladiators run chase suffered another major blow.
The Gladiators' 50 came up in the 10th over when their skipper Sarfraz Ahmed played a masterful cut shot for four.
However, Afridi got Sarfraz trapped in front of the wicket as the Gladiators lost their fifth wicket.
Afridi then took a blinder of a catch to dismiss Umar Amin (31), who had started to look a little bit threatening.
With most of the recognised batters back in the dugout, Mohammad Nawaz took it upon himself to do some hitting. He went after Mohammad Irfan in the 15th over, striking two fours and this massive six.
Nawaz kept the score board ticking but fell prey to a Mohammad Amir delivery.
Tymal Mills struck on the final ball of the 19th over, dispatching Anwar Ali.
The Gladiators needed 28 to win off the last over — an ask they couldn't accomplish.
The Kings started their PSL 2018 campaign with 19-run win.
"I wanted to go to the boundary and take a catch like this even though due to my age I usually avoid such a task," Afridi said regarding his brilliant catch. "But I was warmed up and was feeling it so I decided to field at the boundary."