PSL 2021: Sultans lock horns with Zalmi in grand finale Filed on June 23, 2021
Peshawar Zalmi captain Wahab Riaz (right) is banking on 'team work' when his men face the Multan Sultans in the final. (PSL Twitter)

The final will be played in Abu Dhabi (8pm UAE Time) on Thursday

After all the uncertainties and the drama over the resumption of the Pakistan Super League in the UAE, the high-profile T20 tournament is set for the grand finale at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

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.

Now the Mohammad Rizwan-led Sultans will lock horns with former champions Peshawar Zalmi on Thursday evening for the right to lay their hands on the HBL PSL trophy.

“It is tough to name any individual, rather than naming any individual, I would like to stress that it has been a total team effort that has seen our remarkable turnaround from Karachi. What we learned in Karachi was that we were losing the games narrowly which meant that there were no major worries for us as a side,” captain Rizwan said,

“Now in the final, we would want to keep our game plan simple and I am very hopeful that we would play with the same spirit, that is all that I will ask of my players, results are in the hands of the Almighty and we will only care about giving our absolute best.”

Remarkably, both the finalists beat Islamabad United, the best team in the league phase, in the playoffs to earn their spots in the title-decider.

The Wahab Riaz-led Zalmi had a topsy-turvy campaign, but a healthy net run rate saw them reach the playoffs.

Hazratullah Zazai, Zalmi’s left-handed opener, is in scintillating touch, hitting three half-centuries in last four games.

And captain Riaz said Zalmi would aim to come up with another collective effort to win their second title against first-time finalists Sultans.

“Since the beginning of the PSL, the Peshawar Zalmi side have played like a family. We believe in the team mantra. This mantra is one of the reasons of our success,” he said.

“Playing the fourth final for Zalmi and first as a captain is a huge honour for me and I would like to lead the team to glory tomorrow night against a formidable opponent, it should be a great occasion.”


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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