Liam Livingstone's blistering 82-run knock helped Karachi Kings defeat Multan Sultans by seven runs in their 2019 Pakistan Super League match at the Dubai Cricket Stadium on Friday.
The Kings opener's 43-ball knock was central to his team posting a 184-run target for the Sultans, who could only muster 176 runs in their allotted 20 overs.
Man-of-the-match Livingstone and Babar Azam opened the innings for the Kings, whereas Mohammad Irfan bowled the first over for the Sultans.
Azam has been tipped to do great things in PSL 2019, and he showed his intentions by dispatching the first ball he faced to the boundary.
The Kings openers dealt everything that the Sultans threw at them masterfully, bringing up their side's 50 in the 6th over and 100 in the 11th over.
After both the batters completed their 50s, Livingstone upped the ante, hitting boundaries after boundaries. The Englishman had clearly overshadowed his partner and was eyeing a debut ton and had his port city side eyeing 200.
The opening wicket finally fell in the 16th over when Livingstone skied one and was holed out. He finished with 43-ball 82 laced with 6 sixes and just as many fours.
Livingstone's departure opened the floodgates for Sultans who picked three quick wickets in the next few overs, including the prized one of Azam, who contributed a 59-ball 77.
In all, the Kings lost six wickets in the final 5 overs to finish with a total score of 183-6.
Shan Masood and Tom Moores started the run chase for the Sultans but their partnership didn't last long; Mohammad Amir had Moores caught in just the second over.
When Masood's laboured 20-run knock came to an end in the 9th over, it was all Karachi. However, Laurie Evans and Shoaib Malik stabilised the Multan ship before the latter went berserk in the 14th over, plundering 24 runs laced with five straight boundaries off Ravi Bopara.
Evans' and Malik's 49- and 52-run knocks could only do so much for the Sultans, who were 139-5 after 16.3 overs in pursuit of their 184-run target.
As the match entered its most decisive stage, it came down to the Sultans' needing 12 runs off two balls.
Two straight sixes could have done the job, but it wasn't meant to be as the Sultans finished their opening PSL encounter with a score of 176-9 in 20 overs.
Karachi Kings : Liam Livingstone, Babar Azam, Colin Ingram, Ravi Bopara, Mohammad Rizwan , Sikandar Raza, Imad Wasim (capt), Mohammad Amir, Usman Shinwari, Sohail Khan, Umer Khan
Multan Sultans: Shan Masood, Tom Moores(wk), Laurie Evans, Shoaib Malik(capt), Andre Russell, Shahid Afridi, Chris Green, Junaid Khan, Hammad Azam, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Ilyas