ISLAMABAD: Rawalakot Hawks registered a 43-run emphatic win against Mirpur Royals in the inaugural fixture of the first edition of Kashmir Premier League (KPL) at Muzaffarabad Cricket Stadium, Muzaffarabad on late Friday. Mirpur Royals chose to field first after winning the toss. Hawks’ openers, Ahmad Shehzad and Bismillah Khan displayed scintillating batting skills, smashing Royals for boundaries all around the ground during the power-play as their team reached 54 without losing any wicket after the first 6 overs. Both the openers further accelerated and played strokes everywhere, helping Hawks post 100/0 in the 9th over of the inning. Ammad Butt came up with the first breakthrough for Mirpur Royals as the young pacer sent settled Bismillah Khan back to the pavilion. Wicket-keeper batsman scored quick 59 off 34 with 4 fours and as many sixes. Hawks’ inning slowed down after the first dismissal as the next batter, Umar Amin, struggled to find any connection with the ball and eventually threw his wicket away for 4 off 11. Ahmad Shehzad scored 69 with the help of 4 sixes and 7 fours while Hussain Talat’s 23 and a quick 16 runs inning of Shahid Afridi helped Rawalakot Hawks post 194/6 in 20 overs. Ammad Butt bowled with decent line and length and got three scalps for just 20 runs in his spell of 4 overs. Young Kashmiri pacer Salman Irshad also got two wickets for 38 runs. Mirpur Royals struggled in the power-play as the two top-order youngsters Ibtesam Ul Haq and Mohammad Taha went back to pavilions for golden ducks. Asif Afridi came up with another breakthrough as this time, Mukhtar Ahmad threw his wicket away for just 17 runs, team being 32/3 in the meanwhile. Two quick dismissals of Khushdil Shah and Muhammad Akhlaq increased the difficulties of the Royals as Shoaib Malik found his team being 58/5 in the 10th over of the inning. Mirpur Royals’ skipper tried to keep the chase alive through his superb knock of 77 off 51. When Zaman Khan bowled Ammad Butt on 22 in his second over, Royals required 90 in the last five overs. Shoaib Malik’s boundaries kept the game interesting for a longer period but couldn’t help his team chase a giant total of 195 as Royals fell short of 43 runs. Zaman Khan, Asif Afridi and Shahid Afridi with two scalps each, remained the star performers for Rawalakot Hawks.