Multan Sultans beat Peshawar Zalmi to win PSL 2021 title
Underdogs Multan Sultans defeated the favourite Peshawar Zalmi in the final of the sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
Opening the second innings, Zalmi’s Kamran Akmal scored a blistering 36 while chasing a target of 207 run set by the Sultans.
Hazratullah Zazai, the other opener, tried to join the party by hitting Blessing Muzarabani a six on the first ball of the over. However, on the very next ball, Zazai was removed by the Zimbabwean to give the Sultans their first wicket.
Imran Khan then removed the dangerous Akmal. Then Rilee Rossouw, who had started with the bat for Multan, removed Jonathan Wells with a run out in the 10th over to tilt the final in the Sultans' favour.
In the 11th over, Imran Khan removed Shoaib Malik but the decision was overturned after replays showed the pacer overstepped. The mistake proved to be too costly for the Sultans as Malik then made the side pay for their mistake.
West Indian Rovman Powell was giving a good company to Malik but he was removed by Muzarabani in the 15th over.
Experienced Sohail Tanvir removed veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik on the first ball of the 16th over. But by that time Malik had taken his side far enough to make Zalmi dream of victory. They needed 70 runs from 29 balls at that time.
After Malik's dismissal, Sherfane Rutherford decided to charge at the Multan bowlers. Imran Tahir removed the dangerous Rutherford, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Imran in the 17th over to end the little hope that Zalmi had of clinching the title.
In the next over, Imran Khan took Zalmi's ninth wicket to take his side closer to the finish line.
Making 56 runs in the last 16 balls proved too much for the last two Zalmi batsmen and the Sultans triumphed over Zalmi by 48 runs to win their first PSL title.
Multan Sultans Innings
Earlier, a 98-run partnership between Sohaib Maqsood and Rilee Rossouw powered the Sultans to 206-4 after Zalmi won the toss and opted to bowl first.
The first over of the final was bowled by Sameen Gul and he conceded just one run. The first boundary was hit by Mohammad Rizwan against Mohammad Irfan in the second over. The Sultans captain was the one to hit the first six of the final.
Openers Rizwan and Shan Masood were struggling to take off against the Irfan-Sameen duo till the third over of the match. It was in the fourth over that the openers found some flow and started hitting boundaries.
However, it was youngster Mohammad Imran who stepped in for his team and removed Masood and Rizwan in the 9th and 11th over. Both Masood and Rizwan left after making 30 runs each.
However, Sohaib Maqsood and Rilee Rossouw did not allow Zalmi bowlers to capitalise on the two quick wickets.
The duo built a partnership of 98 runs and by the time Rossouw was dismissed in the 18th over, the Sultans had crossed 180 runs. The South African was dismissed by Gul shortly after completing his half-century.
On the very next ball, Gul removed Johnson Charles for a duck to put the Sultans four down.
In the last over, Maqsood and Khudhil Shah hit Ammad Butt for 21 runs to take the Sultans to 206 for four.
Maqsood ended the innings as the Sultans' highest run-scorer with an unbeaten 65.
Multan Sultans: Shan Masood, Mohammad Rizwan (c & 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 (c), Sameen Gul, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Imran
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