Mohammad Hasnain’s maiden four-wicket haul and Azam Khan’s first-ever half-century helped Quetta Gladiators to begin their title defence with a three-wicket win over Islamabad United in the opening match of the HBL PSL 2020 at Karachi’s National Stadium.

Hasnain returned four for 25 in his four overs which played a crucial role in bowling out Islamabad United for 168 in 19.1 overs after Quetta Gladiators captain Sarfaraz Ahmed opted to bowl.

The right-arm pacer was supported by Ben Cutting and Sohail Khan who took three and two wickets respectively.

With 64 runs from 40 balls, Dawid Malan, who hit five fours and three sixes, was the top-scorer in Islamabad’s innings. Wicketkeeper-batsman Luke Ronchi, who opened the innings, had the second-best score of the innings (23 off 13).

Quetta Gladiators chased down the target with nine balls spare as Azam, playing only his second T20, scored 59 off 33, hitting five fours and three sixes.

The 21-year-old crafted a crucial 62-run partnership with his captain Sarfaraz (21 off 18) to help Gladiators recover from 26 for three.

Mohammad Nawaz and Cutting chipped in with 23 off 13 and an unbeaten 12-ball 22 respectively down the order.

For Islamabad, Musa Khan, the Pakistani international, took three wickets for 34 runs, while bowling a maiden in his four overs. Akif Javed, Faheem Ashraf and Amad Butt picked up a wicket each.

For his exploits with the ball, Hasnain was named man of the match.

On Friday, Karachi Kings take on Peshawar Zalmi at the National Stadium, Karachi, while Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans lock horns at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.

Brief Scores: Islamabad United 168 all-out, 19.1 overs (Dawid Malan 64, Luke Ronchi 23, Faheem Ashraf 20; Mohammad Hasnain 4-25, Ben Cutting 3-31, Sohail Khan 2-21) vs Quetta Gladiators 171-7, 18.3 overs (Azam Khan 59, Mohammad Nawaz 23, Ben Cutting 22 not out, Sarfaraz Ahmed 21; Mohammad Musa 3-30) Result : Quetta Gladiators won by three wickets