PSL 2021: Multan Sultans beat Peshawar Zalmi to bag maiden Pakistan Super League title
- Multan Sultans were crowned winners of the Pakistan Super League for the first time as they beat Peshawar Zalmi by 47 runs in the final.
Multan Sultans were crowned winners of the Pakistan Super League for the first time as they beat Peshawar Zalmi by 47 runs in the final. Half-centuries from Sohaib Maqsood and Rilee Rossouw, coupled with Imran Tahir's three-wicket haul helped them defend 206 in style. Almost all Multan batsmen got starts which formed the crux of a strong total in the final.
In response, Peshawar Zalmi finished with 159/9 with only Kamran Akmal's 36 and Shoaib Malik's 48 being the two sizeable contributions. Besides Tahir's 3/33, Imran Khan and Blessing Muzarabani chipped in with two wickets each which did not allow the Zalmi innings to take off.
Maqsood slammed an unbeaten 65 off 35 deliveries, with the help of six boundaries and three sixes. Rossouw scored a 21-ball 50, including five fours and three sixes.
Put to bat first, Multan went off to a flying start as the opening duo of skipper Rizwan and Shan Masood added 68 runs for the opening wicket before young Peshawar speedster Mohammad Imran broke the partnership. The left-arm quick castled Masood (37) with a slower delivery in the 9th over. He returned in the 11th over to jolt Multan by dismissing skipper Rizwan for 30.
Maqsood and Rossouw paired up thereafter and kept the scoreboard ticking. They batted till the 19th over and stitched a 98-run stand for the third wicket.
Sameen Gul struck in the penultimate over and removed Rossouw and Johnson Charles (0) on consecutive deliveries. But a couple of wickets didn't affect Multan's batting. Khushdil Shah hit back-to-back sixes in the final over while Maqsood slammed a boundary over backward square leg to end the innings.
Zalmi's innings began on a positive note with Akmal going after the bowlers right from the start. But two wickets in seven balls, including that of Akmal rocked the chase. Rovman Powell and Malik tried to steady the innings with a 66-run partnership but the Multan bowlers were too tough to get away with. Tahir dismissed the dangerous Malik after he bad played well during his 28-ball knock, hitting three fours and three sixes. Once he departed, the wheels simply came off. From 137/5, Zalmi lost their next four wickets for 14 runs, leaving them no chance of scripting a miraculous chase.
"Our management provided us with every facility. We played as a team and gelled as a team. We bounced back from the bottom of the table. The final match was a pressure game. I told my boys during time-out, that there will be pressure," winning captain Rizwan said after the win.
"We had decided to bat first. We tried to stay calm in face of pressure. When you go for a win, you do ignore a few things. Sohaib Maqsood used to bat down the order in Pakistan but we tried him out at the top-order here. Our bowlers did well and deserve a lot of credit."
Sohail Maqsood was named Player of the Match and as well as Player of the Series.
"I was very confident. I finally managed to establish myself in the PSL having not done that in the previous years. The management showed faith in me and asked me to bat at number 3. I took a break from red ball cricket and worked on my skills," he said.
"When your form is good, your shot selection becomes better. I don't want to do anything different. I would want to play with same aggression if I get a chance at the international level. Credit to my captain and the management for showing faith in me. They told me to go and express myself."
Brief scores: Multan Sultans 206/4 in 20 overs (Sohaib Maqsood 65, Rilee Rossouw 50; Sameen Gul 2/26) beat Peshawar Zalmi 159/9 in 20 overs (Shoaib Malik 48, Kamran Akmal 36; Imran Tahir 3/33) by 47 runs.