07 Mar Multan Sultans defeat Peshawar Zalmi in a run fest
Peshawar Zalmi: Mohammad Hafeez (c), Kamran Akmal (wk), Andre Fletcher, Dwayne Smith, Riki Wessels, Liam Dawson, Hammad Azam, Wahab Riaz, Umaid Asif, Hasan Ali, Sameen Gul.
Multan Sultans: Shoaib Malik (c), Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Ahmad Shehzad, Sohaib Maqsood, Kieron Pollard, Darren Bravo, Saif Badar, Sohail Tanvir, Imran Tahir, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan.
Toss: Peshawar Zalmi won the toss and opted to bowl.
Multan Sultans Innings
Three changes in Zalmi’s starting XI from the last win against Lahore Qalandars. Sabbir, Tamim and Khalid replaced by Riki, Hammad and Fletcher. Kumar Sangakkara and Ahmad Shehzad came on strike. Sameen opened the bowling attack for Zalmi. The batting flank got off to a blazing start scoring 41 in the first powerplay with the run rate of 6.83 runs per over. Both the openers looked great in control, smashed some classy boundaries. Five bowlers were introduced in the first powerplay by the skipper, Hafeez.
The man of the match in his HBL PSL debut, Liam Dawson, dismissed the man in form, Kumar Sangakkara, who managed to score 28 runs off 24 balls. The opening batting pair shared a vital 51-run partnership. In came Sohaib Maqsood who started his innings in an aggressive manner which gave Ahmed Shehzad stability on the crease. Both the players steadied the total with a 56-run stand. Sultans lost their second wicket in the 15th over, Maqsood hit the ball back up the pitch, Shehzad came haring down but Maqsood was not interested for a single. He stayed in his crease, but Shehzad kept coming.
In came the skipper, Shoaib Malik, who couldn’t stay for much on crease but on the other end, Sohaib Maqsood played the innings of his life. He came screaming back into form scoring 85 off 42 unbeaten and setting a healthy target of 184 runs (the highest team total this year) for Zalmi to hunt. Zalmi’s bowlers tried their best but failed to stop the master of Sultans’ batting power. Multan managed to smash 70 runs on the last 30 balls of the match.
Fall of Wickets:
1-51 (Kumar Sangakkara, 7.3 over)
2-107 (Ahmed Shehzad, 14.1 over)
3-140 (Shoaib Malik, 16.6 over)
Peshawar Zalmi Innings
We saw a change in the opening partnership of Peshawar Zalmi, as Tamim Iqbal left to join his national side for the world cup qualifiers. Andre Fletcher, who is a Grenadian cricketer but plays internationally for the West Indies, joined Kamran Akmal for the start. The first wicket gone in the 3rd over, Fletcher tried to smash Tanvir’s delivery but got edged and easily caught by Kumar Sangakkara behind the wickets. A slow start by Zalmi, stood 40 with the loss of two wickets after the first powerplay.
Dwayne Smith and Mohammad Hafeez tried to release the pressure by staying on the crease and adding a little stability in the match. Both the players played comfortably looking for runs in any form. But it didn’t last for long as a slow delivery by Pollard resulted the dismissal of Dwayne Smith. By the time 10th over ended, Peshawar Zalmi required another 110 runs off 55 balls.
Sultans’ bowlers desperately looked for a wicket but they struggled to do so, Mohammad Irfan in particular, who conceded 31 runs in 3 overs. But subsequently, it was him who terminated Wessels in his 4th over, radiantly caught by Ahmad Shehzad. The match got exciting when in the last 3 overs, Peshawar Zalmi needed 50 runs with wickets 6 in hand. Mohammad Hafeez completed his fine half century after hitting back to back boundaries, while Liam Dawson stood 32 not out, when the second last over arrived. It turned out to be the match changing over, bowled by Sohail Tanvir. He took two wickets and conceded only 2 runs.
Multan were too good again. They had enough firepower with their batting to carry them to an above-par score, and then they had the defensive bowling capability to cruise to a 19-run win to retain top spot.
Fall of Wickets:
1-19 (Andre Fletcher, 2.1 over)
2-25 (Kamran Akmal, 3.2 over)
3-53 (Dwayne Smith, 8.1 over)
5-151 (Liam Dawson, 18.1 over)
6-152 (Hammad Azam, 18.3 over)
7-156 (Hasan Ali, 19.2 over)
8-158 (Mohammad Hafeez, 19.5 over)