Sultans qualify for playoffs after 80-run win over Qalandars

The match was played in Abu Dhabi

Sultans qualify for playoffs after 80-run win over Qalandars PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Multan Sultans have qualified for HBL PSL 6 playoffs after registering a 80-run win over Lahore Qalandars on Friday.

Chasing a target of 170, Qalandar experimented by promoting Ben Dunk as an opener. However, the experiment failed as Dunk was removed by Imran Khan for 5 in the second over of the innings.

Shahnawaz Dahani was introduced into the attack in the 5th over and struck on his first ball as a leading edge by Fakhar Zaman, who tried to pull the pacer, went straight into the gloves of Mohammad Rizwan.

Blessing Muzarabani also struck in his very first over of the night as Mohammad Hafeez sent a wide delivery straight down backward point's throat and departed for 14, thereby reducing Qalandars to 34-3 at the end of powerplay.

Qalandars needed their captain to step up but Sohail Akhtar was stumped for 5 while trying to charge down at Imran Tahir.

With required run-rate mounting, Agha Salman tried to play a scoop but could only find the keeper, thus gifting another wicket to Muzarabani.

James Faulkner made his intentions clear straight away as he dispatched Muzarabani for a couple of sixes.

Tim David was also looking ominous form but was clean bowled by Imran Khan in the 13th over, putting further pressure on Qalandars.

Faulkner’s cameo didn’t last for long as well as he was caught at deep midwicket for 22 by Imran Tahir while trying to pull Dahani.

Dahani quickly picked his third wicket by bouncing out Rashid Khan, with Rizwan taking a brilliant catch.

Imran Khan picked three wickets, while Dahani finished with a four-wicket haul to bowl out Qalandars for 89.

Earlier, Sohaib Maqsood’s 60-run knock propelled Multan Sultans to 169-8 against Lahore Qalandars.

After being asked to bat first by Qalandars, Sultans were dealt an early blow as Shan Masood was trapped lbw by Shaheen Afridi on the first ball of the match.

Shaheen continued to run in at full steam and had an intense battle with Mohammad Rizwan. With Shaheen going at full throttle, Sultans decided to target James Faulkner and Maqsood hit the all-rounder for a massive six after accumulating couple of boundaries earlier in his first over.

After a cautious start, Rizwan upped the ante and smashed a couple of boundaries in Haris Rauf’s first over. But it was Rauf who had the last laugh as Rizwan was caught behind for 15 on the final delivery of the same over.

Rashid Khan removed Johnson Charles for 10 in his second over to further derail Sultans’ innings.

The flurry of wickets didn’t slow down Maqsood, who continued to accelerate from the other end. After hitting a six against Ahmed Daniyal, Maqsood smashed consecutive sixes against Mohammad Hafeez, to bring up his fifty in just 27 balls.

Maqsood found an able ally in Rilee Rossouw, who rotated the strike and kept hitting an odd boundary every over. Daniyal came back in the 15th over to break the 63-run partnership with Rossouw caught behind for 29.

Sultans needed Maqsood to stay till the end but he was removed by Shaheen Afridi for 60 in the 17th over. Faulkner came back into the attack next to further derail Sultans’ efforts to reach a competitive total as his slower delivery outfoxed Khushdil, who was caught behind for 6.

Imran Tahir hit Faulkar for a boundary on his first ball, but was caught at cover –point by Akhtar on the next delivery.

Shaheen cleaned up Blessin Muzarabani in his final over to pick his third wicket of the match.

However, it was Sohail Tanvir, who hit 24 runs in the final over of the innings, bowled by Haris Rauf, to take Sultans’ total past 160.