Rizwan, Sohaib script Sultans’ first win
Multan Sultans' captain Mohammad Rizwan celebrates after scoring half century (50 runs) as teammate Sohaib Maqsood looks on during the PSL match between Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans at the National Stadium in Karachi. AFP
Half centuries from Mohammad Rizwan and Sohaib Maqsood guided Multan Sultans to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Lahore Qalandars at the National Stadium on Friday. This is Sultans’ first win of the HBL Pakistan Super League 6.
Sultans surmounted the 158-run target with 22 balls spare as Rizwan, who posted his second half-century and became the leading run-getter of the season, scored a breezy 49-ball 76, studded by 12 fours, and Sohaib hammered seven fours and fours in his 61 not out off 41.
The pair stitched a match-winning 110-run partnership for the third wicket.
Shaheen Afridi struck in the first over as he clean bowled Chris Lynn with a scorching yorker in the first over. James Vince (5 off 6) was next to go, with scoreboard reading at 30 for two.
But the two wickets did not inflict the harm which Qalandars desired as captain Rizwan’s subliminal form stretched into this match and he stroked them out of trouble. The wicketkeeper-batsman, who got recently promoted to Category A in the PCB’s Central Contract List for 2020-21, accumulated 44 off 22 in the powerplay overs to take Sultans’ score to 58 at the conclusion of the sixth over.
Both Rizwan and Sohaib played shots all around the ground, and were treat to watch for the fans, who showed up in numbers after 50 per cent of fans were allowed for the first time in HBL PSL 6.
For Qalandars, Shaheen picked two wickets for 29.
Earlier, after being put into bat by Sultans captain Mohammad Rizwan, Qalandars managed to score 157 for six thanks to Mohammad Hafeez’s second consecutive half-century. The right-handed Hafeez came to the crease when Qalandars lost opening pair Fakhar Zaman (9 off 11) and Sohail Akhtar (7 off 12) for 17 and scored 60 off 35.
The two early dismissals combined with top-class bowling allowed Qalandars only 25 runs in the first six overs – their lowest score in the powerplay.
Joe Denly and Hafeez put up an 89-run stand for the third wicket, in which Denly contributed a 29-ball 31, smashing two fours and as many sixes.
Hafeez, brought up his eighth half century of the HBL PSL in 27 balls, stroking right-arm fast Shahnawaz Dhani for a six over long-off. His innings included three fours and five towering sixes.
Samit Patel’s unbeaten 26 off 20 helped Qalandars go past 150-mark. For Multan Sultans, Carlos Brathwaite and Shahnawaz picked two wickets apiece for 20 and 39 runs, respectively. This is Qalandars first defeat of the season.
Lahore Qalandars 157-6, 20 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 60, Joe Denly 31, Samit Patel 26 not out; Carlos Brathwaite 2-20, Shahnawaz Dhani 2-39)
Multan Sultans 159-3, 16.2 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 76, Sohaib Maqsood 61 not out; Shaheen Shah Afridi 2-29)
Player of the match – Mohammad Rizwan (Multan Sultans)