PSL 2021: Multan beat Peshawar to clinch title Filed on June 25, 2021 | Last updated on June 25, 2021 at 01.19 am
Veteran South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir of Multan Sultans celebrates a wicket in the final. (PSL Twitter)

The Sultans were unstoppable as they registered an emphatic 47-run win over former champions Peshawar Zalmi in the final

The Multan Sultans completed a fairy tale run in Abu Dhabi as the Mohammad Rizwan-led team clinched their maiden Pakistan Super League (PSL) title at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Thursday night.

On a beautiful wicket to bat, the Sultans were unstoppable as they registered an emphatic 47-run win over former champions Peshawar Zalmi in the final.

The Sultans, after being put into bat, turned the screw on the Zalmis by posting a massive 206 for four in 20 overs, thanks to two brilliant half-centuries from Sohaib Maqsood (65 not out, 35 balls, 6 fours, 3 sixes) and Rilee Rossouw (50, 21 balls, 5 fours, 3 sixes).

In reply, the Zalmis never found their top gear as the Wahab Riaz-led team eventually managed only 159 for nine in 20 overs.

The first HBL PSL triumph could not have come in a more dramatic fashion for the Sultans.

When the league was suspended in Karachi on March 4 after the coronavirus had breached the bio-bubble, the Multan Sultans were in desperate need of a booster, having won just one out of five matches. But the resumption of the event in Abu Dhabi reinvigorated the Sultans as they won five out of six matches to storm into the playoffs.

Then a comprehensive victory over the Islamabad United, the best team in the league phase, sent them into their first-ever final.

And on Thursday night, the Sultans were simply too good for the Zalmis.

Openers Shan Masood (37, 29 balls, 6 fours) and Rizwan (30, 30 balls, 2 fours, 1 six) set the tone with their 68-run opening partnership in 8.4 overs.

After the departure of the two openers, Maqsood and Rossouw took the centre stage as their 98-run third wicket partnership off just 44 balls put the Zalmi bowlers to the sword.

While Maqsood was brilliant, Rossouw, the 31-year-old South African player, launched a brutal assault on the Zalmi bowlers, with his half-century coming off just 21 balls.

Khushdil Shah (15 not out, 5 balls, 2 sixes) then took the score beyond 200 as Zalmi bowlers had no answer to the Sultans’ merciless display of attacking batting.

While Sameen Gul (2/26) and Mohammad Irfan (0/27), the two new-ball bowlers, showed fine control, the rest of the bowling attack just fell apart, with captain Riaz (0/52), Amad Butt (0/52) and Mohammad Imran (2/47) bearing the brunt of Sultans onslaught.

In reply, the Zalmis were heavily relying on Hazratullah Zazai, who came into the final match on the back of three half-centuries in four games.

But the Afghan player fell for just six in the big chase and with number three Jonathan Wells (6) losing his wicket to a run out, the Zalmis got off to a poor start. The writing was on the wall for the Zalmis when veteran opener Kamran Akmal (36, 28 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) became the third batsman to fall.

With 149 needed from 64 balls, hard-hitting West Indian Rovman Powell (23, 14 balls, 2 fours, 1 six) joined Shoaib Malik (48, 28 balls, 3 fours, 3 sixes) in the middle and two batsmen revived the innings with their defiant stand. But the end of their 64-run partnership off 29 balls killed the game as a contest as the Sultans bowlers, led by the evergreen Imran Tahir (3/33), held their nerve to give the team the joy of lifting the coveted trophy.

Brief scores:

Multan Sultans defeat Peshawar Zalmi by 47 runs in the final.

Multan Sultans 206-4 in 20 overs (Sohaib Maqsood 65 not out, Rilee Rossouw 50, Shan Masood 37, Mohammad Rizwan 30; Sameen Gul 2-26, Mohammad Imran 2-47)

Peshawar Zalmi 159 for nine in 20 overs (Shoaib Malik 48, Kamran Akmal 36, Rovman Powell 23, Sherfane Rutherford 18; Imran Tahir 3-33; Blessing Muzarabani 2-26, Imran Khan 2-27)

Player of the final: Sohaib Maqsood (Multan Sultans) (65 not out)


Rituraj Borkakoty

A big fan of the Argentina national football team, Rituraj generally writes on sports. But he deeply cherishes the time he spent with his favourite musician from Assam, India, for an interview. And he loves to bring human interest stories to Khaleej Times readers.

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