ABU DHABI, 25 June: Multan Sultans triumphed over Peshawar Zalmi in the final to win their maiden Pakistan Super League (PSL) title in a see-saw kind of game at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
At the start of the innings, Zalmi, who was chasing a target of 207, made a blistering start courtesy Kamran Akmal’s 36.
Peshawar Zalmi’s innings
Zalmi needed a herculean effort by their batsmen to chase the record-breaking target in the PSL final and Akmal gave hope to his team till the fifth over.
Zalmi were 36 for the loss of no wickets at that point and all those runs were scored by the veteran wicketkeeper.
Hazratullah Zazai, the other opener, was looking to join the party when he hit Blessing Muzarabani for a six from the first ball of the sixth over. However, in the very next ball, Zazai was removed by the Zimbabwean to give the Sultans their first wicket.
Imran Khan deadly bowling
Imran Khan then bowled a wicket-taking maiden sixth over to put Zalmi further under pressure. The bowler in the over removed the dangerous Akmal from the very first delivery.
Then Rilee Rossouw, who had started with the bat for Multan, removed Jonathan Wells with a run out during the 10th over to tilt the final in the Sultans’ favour.
In the 11th over, Imran Khan removed Shoaib Malik but the decision was overturned after replays showed that the pacer had overstepped.
The mistake proved to be too costly for the Sultans as Malik then made the side pay for their mistake.
West Indian Rovman Powell was giving good company to Malik but he was removed by Muzarabani during the 15th over.
All the while the Sultans knew that Malik was key for them if they wanted to lay their hands on their first PSL trophy.
And it was the experienced Sohail Tanvir who removed the veteran all-rounder from the first ball of the 16th over. But Malik had taken his side far enough to make Zalmi dream of victory at that point. They needed 70 runs from the last 29 balls at the time.
After Malik’s dismissal, Sherfane Rutherford decided to charge at the Multan bowlers.
Once again, it was experience that really counted in the situation.
Imran Tahir, during the 17th over, removed the dangerous Rutherford, Wahab Riaz, and Mohammad Imran to end the little hope that Zalmi had of clinching their second PSL title.
In the next over, Imran Khan took Zalmi’s ninth wicket to take his side closer to the finish line.
Getting 56 runs in the last 16 balls proved too much for the last two Zalmi batsmen.
The Sultans triumphed over Zalmi by 48 runs to win their first PSL title.