Multan Sultans trumped Peshawar Zalmi by 47 runs in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 final at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
Put in to bat first, Multan Sultan’s openers Shan Masood and Mohammad Rizwan added a formidable partnership of 68 runs in 8.4 overs.
Masood made a quickfire 29-ball 37 with the help of six boundaries before being dismissed off a Mohammad Imran slower delivery. Rizwan, too, couldn’t carry his run a ball innings for too long as he was sent back to the pavilion by Imran.
However, the baton of taking the Mohammad Rizwan-led team to a respectable total was taken by the next two batters- Sohaib Maqsood and Rilee Rossouw. The duo ensured that they carried forward the work done by the openers and smashed their respective half-centuries.
Rossouw unleashed his flamboyant strokes, thrashing a 21-ball 50, which helped his side reach 181/3 in 18.2 overs. The Bloemfontein-born had put up a 98 runs partnership with Maqsood before he ended up giving an easy catch at short third man to Irfan off Sameen Gul.
Though the breakthrough had come, it was very late for Peshawar Zalmi since the opponents posted a mammoth 206/4 on board in their allotted twenty overs. Maqsood remained unbeaten on 65 off 35 balls laced with six boundaries and three towering sixes.
In reply, Peshawar Zalmi batter Kamran Akmal started with a bang by playing extravagant strokes once he had set himself at the crease. The other opener Hazratullah Zazai had made only six runs when Blessing Muzarabani dismissed him.
The next batter Jonathan Wells got off to a slow start, and pressure mounted on Kamran, who made a folly while judging an Imran Khan delivery.
Thus, Wahab Riaz & Co. suffered two setbacks whilst being stranded at 42. Shoaib Malik came in next and tried to steady the innings, but his side suffered another setback.
The highest partnership for the Zalmi’s came between Malik and Rovman Powell, who added 66 runs together.
The required run-rate kept on aggravating as Peshawar Zalmi needed 70 runs off five overs with six wickets in hand. The remaining line-up faltered like a pack of cards, and Zalmi could only muster 22 more runs.
Imran Tahir was the pick of the bowlers for his side with three wickets. With this win, Multan Sultans won their maiden PSL title. Apart from winning the ‘Player of the Match’ for his blistering knock, Maqsood was also crowned the ‘Player of the Tournament’ for amassing 428 runs in the T20 extravaganza.
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