Multan Sultans become PSL champion
A splendid batting and clinical bowling Thursday led Multan Sultans to Pakistan Super League glory as they won the title by trampling all over Peshawar Zalmi in the final of the sixth edition of Pakistan’s premier Twenty20 league at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Chasing a record target of 207 runs, set by Sultans courtesy to fireworks of Sohaib Maqsood and Rilee Rossouw, Zalmi never seemed in the race for the title as they could make 159-9 as Sultans thrashed Zalmi by 47 runs.
Kamran Akmal tried to give a flying start to Peshawar Zalmi but his partner Hazratullah Zazai, who was influential in helping Zalmi to reach the final with his power hitting, could not click.
Zazai struck a sixer to Blessing Muzarabani but holed out to Shan Masood on the next delivery as he was out for six runs off five balls. Kamran Akmal was next to go as he was beautifully bowled by Imran Sr. He scored 36 runs off 28 balls hitting five boundaries and a six.
The next man in Jonathan Wells was also back to the pavilion soon after getting himself run out. Shoaib Malik and Rovman Powell gave some glimpse of hope to Zalmi but it proved too little.
Powell could make 23 off 14 balls while Malik was the highest run scorer for Zalmi with 48 runs off 28 balls hitting three sixes and as many fours.
For Multan, Imran Tahir took 3-33, Muzarabani 2-26, Imran 2-27 and Sohail Tanveer 1-35
Zalmi won the toss and elected to bat first. Captain M Rizwan and Shan Masood set up a decent opening foundation for their later batsmen to come and pounce at Zalmi bowlers that helped Sultans to reach 206-4 in 20 overs leaving Zalmi to need to do something extraordinary to make this record chase possible.
Mohammed Imran broke the partnership in the ninth over when the off stump of Shan Masood shattered when he tried to go for a wild slog against a slower delivery and totally missed it. He scored 37 runs off 29 balls hitting six fours in the process. Sultans were 68-1 in 8.4 overs then.
Imran again struck in his next over when he got the prized wicket of Rizwan after his bat kissed the ball that went to the safe hands of wicket keeper Kamran Akmal as Sultans reduced to 83-2 in 11 overs. Rizwan scored run-a-ball 30 runs with the help of two fours and a six.
At that stage, the match was seemed to be in Zalmi’s favour. However, Sohaib and Rossouw have other ideas as both smashed Zalmi bowlers at will to pace up the things and soon mustered a 50-run partnership off just 20 balls.
They continued with their free hitting spree as Sohaib reached his fifty off 26 balls including 4 balls and three sixes. Rossouw was especially destructive as he soon raced to his half century off just 20 balls hitting five fours and three sixes.
But on the very next ball he faced after reaching the fifty he has to go back to the dugout. He tried a reverse ramp off a Sameen Gul delivery but it went wrong and M Irfan took a simple catch at short third man and also ended the third wicket partnership of 98 balls off 51 balls.
Sameen was exceptionally good with the ball for Zalmi as after bowling three superb opening overs, his fourth over yielded two back-to-back wickets as at the very next ball Sameen trapped new man Johnson Charles in front of the wickets with a perfect yorker.
However, it did not slow Sultans as Khushdil Shah scored 15 runs off 5 balls with two sixes and Sohaib remained unbeaten on 65 off just 35 balls hitting six boundaries and three sixes.
For Zalmi, Sameen was the exceptional bowler has finished his four overs for 2-26. Imran took two wickets but conceded 47 runs. Wahab Riaz and Amad Butt both conceded 52 runs each in their four overs quota while M Irfan finished his spell with 0-27.
Multan Sultans: Shan Masood, Mohammad Rizwan (capt & wk), Sohaib Maqsood, Rilee Roussouw, Johnson Charles, Khushdil Shah, Sohail Tanvir, Imran Tahir, Blessing Muzarabani, Imran Khan, Shahnawaz Dahani
Peshawar Zalmi: Hazratullah Zazai, Kamran Akmal (wk), Jonathan Wells, Shoaib Malik, Rovman Powell, Sherfane Rutherford, Amad Butt, Wahab Riaz (capt), Sameen Gul, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Imran.