Multan Sultans beat Peshawar Zalmi to win maiden HBL PSL title

Wahab Riaz-led unit failed to chase down a massive 207-run target

Multan Sultans beat Peshawar Zalmi to win maiden HBL PSL title PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Multan Sultans registered 47-run victory over Peshawar Zalmi to win their maiden HBL PSL title on Thursday.

Chasing a target of 207 runs, Zalmi got an ideal start as Kamran Akmal teed off from the get go and attacked Sultans opening pacers. Akmal took the majority of strike during the powerplay and raced to 36 inside five overs, while Zazai waited to open his account.

Zazai finally got the chance to open his account in the 6th over and dispatched Muzarabani for a six. However, the Zimbabwe pacer got his revenge on the next delivery as the left-hander played a cut shot too early against a slower delivery and the ball flied straight into the hands of Shan Masood at point.

After going for 11 runs in his first over, Imran Khan returned to pick the big wicket of Kamran Akmal for 36. The wicketkeeper-batsman tried to play across the line but was beaten by pace and was clean bowled.

Shoaib Malik and Jonathan Wells tried to build a partnership but the Australian batsman was run out for 6, courtesy of quick work in the field by Rossouw.

Zalmi needed their experienced batsman Shoaib Malik to fire. Malik, after taking his time initially, decided to accelerate and attack Imran Tahir, acculmulating 21 runs in the spinner’s over.

Rovman Powell took inspiration from Malik and sprinted to 23 runs before Muzarabani dismissed the West Indian, bringing an end to the 66-run stand.

Rutherford didn’t waste much time and smashed a six and boundary on consecutive delivery in the same over of Muzarabani.

With Zalmi needing 70 runs in 30 balls, the 2017 champions were dealt a major blow when Malik was caught at deep by Imran Tahir for 48.

Tahir took the momentum into his bowling and dismissed the dangerous Rutherford, who tried to play a wild slog but was caught by Rizwan for 16. The leg-spinner also clean bowled Zalmi captain Wahab Riaz for a duck. But he wasn’t done yet as his wrong-un also got rid of Mohammad Imran on final ball of his four-over spell.

Imran Khan and Muzarabani finished with two wickets each as Zalmi were restricted to 159-9.

Earlier, Sohaib Maqsood and Rilee Rossouw’s 98-run partnership helped Multan Sultans post 206-4 against Peshawar Zalmi.

Sameen Gul, who replaced Umaid Asif in the final, troubled Shan Masood with his swing initially, giving only one run in his first over.

At the other end, Mohammad Rizwan decided to take on Mohammad Irfan, hitting the lanky pacer for a six and a four in the powerplay.

After struggling to find the required connection in Sameen Gul’s first two overs, Masood also finally got the better of the right-arm pacer as he accumulated three boundaries in the fifth over of the innings.

Sultans’ openers were accelerating at will when emerging pacer Mohammad Imran put his hand up and delivered the goods as he broke 68-run partnership by dismissing Masood for 37. Masood tried to charge Imran but missed the slower ball, which shattered his stumps.

Imran’s night only became better when he induced an edge from Rizwan, to pick his second as the Sultans captain was caught behind for 30.

Sohaib Maqsood decided to up the ante after Rizwan’s departure and dispatched Zalmi skipper Wahab Riaz for two boundaries and a six in the 13th over.

Rilee Rossouw made his intentions clear straight away as he took a particular liking to Ammad Butt and hit the all-rounder for two sixes.

Zalmi were banking on Imran to break another crucial partnership. However, the emerging pacer couldn’t control the flow of runs, with Maqsood continuing his rich vein of form to bring up his fifty in just 26 balls.

Rossouw saved his best knock of the season for the final as the left-hander brought up his fifty in only 20 balls. Rossouw departed on the next ball after reaching his fifty, but that didn’t slow down Maqsood as his unbeaten 65-run knock, along with Khushdil Shah’s two sixes in the final over, took Sultans to a mammoth total.