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PSL 6 final: Multan Sultans set 207-run target for Peshawar Zalmi

PSL 6 final: Multan Sultans set 207-run target for Peshawar Zalmi
June 24, 2021

ABU DHABI (92 News) - Multan Sultans set 207-run target for Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 final at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

A 98-run partnership between Sohaib Maqsood and Rilee Rossouw powered the Sultans to set a 207-run target for Zalmi. Before the start of the match, Zalmi had opted to field first against Multan.

The first over of the final was bowled by Sameen Gul and it could have been a maiden had he not bowled a wide off his first ball.

While the first boundary was hit by Mohammad Rizwan against Mohammad Irfan in the second over. The Sultans captain was also the one to hit the first six of the final.

The openers Rizwan and Shan Masood were struggling to take off against the Irfan and Sameen duo till the third over. It was in the fourth over that the openers found some flow and started finding boundaries easily.

For Zalmi, youngster Mohammad Imran drew first blood in the ninth over after he bowled Masood for 37. And in the 11th over, Imran removed the dangerous Rizwan for 30 to put Multan two down.

At that point, the Sultans were hoping that their batsman would capitalise on the start provided to them by their openers.

The dismissal would have given hopes to Peshawar that their bowlers would stop the flow of runs and take more wickets to put the pressure on Multan.

However, Sohaib Maqsood and Rilee Rossouw did not give any space for the Zalmi bowlers to capitalise on the two quick wickets.

The duo made a partnership of 98 runs and by the time Rossouw was dismissed in the 18th over, Multan has crossed 180 runs. The South African was dismissed by Gul shortly after completing his half-century

On the very next ball, Gul removed Johnson Charles for a duck to put Sultans four down.

In the last over, Maqsood and Khudhil Shah hit Ammad Butt for 21 runs to take Sultans to 206 for four.

Maqsood ended the innings as Multan's highest run-scorer with an unbeaten 65.

Multan Sultans are first timers in the final, whereas Peshawar Zalmi have previously tasted the flavour of championship match thrice from 2017 to 2019, including lifting the silverware in front of the Gaddafi Stadium fans in 2017.

Both Sultans and Zalmi secured wins over Islamabad United in the play-offs to confirm their final clash. Islamabad United, who had topped the points table with eight wins, lost their way at the business end of the tournament, suffering a 31-run loss to Sultans in Monday’s Qualifier, followed by an eight-wicket defeat to Zalmi on Tuesday evening in the Eliminator 2.

Mohammad Rizwan-led Sultans were languishing at fifth spot with just a win from five games when the tournament was suspended in Karachi on 4 March. However, the Abu Dhabi-leg has brought them an incredible change in their fortunes with them clinching five victories in six games, including the Qualifier victory over United.

They, thus, cemented their spot in the HBL PSL final for the first time in four attempts, Sultans were added as the sixth HBL PSL franchise from the 2018 edition; the first two editions had five teams.

Meanwhile, 2017 champions Peshawar Zalmi had a tough run leading up to the playoffs.

Wahab Riaz-led side lost three out of their five Abu Dhabi-leg matches, yet succeeded in maintaining a decent net run-rate that helped them secure third spot ahead of Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars who like Zalmi, finished the league-stage with 10 points. Zalmi knocked out the defending champions Kings by five wickets in Eliminator 1 in a gripping encounter that finished on the penultimate ball, before their overwhelming victory over United, which earned them their fourth HBL PSL final appearance.

Both sides have a 1-1 HBL PSL 6 record heading into the final. In the Karachi-leg, Zalmi chased down a 194-run target for the loss of four wickets with an over spare, courtesy Tom Kohler-Cadmore’s half-century and 48 from Imam-ul-Haq.

However, Sultans settled the score on 13 June in Abu Dhabi when they achieved an eight-wicket victory at the back of an unbeaten 82 off 56 balls by Rizwan and a 31-ball 61 by Sohaib Maqsood.

Ahead of the big final, both captains have set their sights on the glittering HBL PSL 6 trophy.

Mohammad Rizwan: “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.

 “In Abu Dhabi, we came out with a great spirit as we had absolute clarity on the challenge ahead of us. We were able to gain momentum at the start and formed a solid combination that brought the change in our fortunes. As a captain, I like to keep the plans simple and try and make the best use of the players in my squads whether he is a rookie or a legend, I am really happy with the response that I have got.

 “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.”

Wahab Riaz: “Since the beginning of the HBL Pakistan Super League, the Peshawar Zalmi side has played like a family. We believe in the Team mantra (Together Each Achieve More). This mantra is one of the reasons of our success.

 “All our squad members and the team management of Mohammad Akram and Daren Sammy have a big part to play in our success. We play an aggressive brand of cricket and believe in taking the game to the opposition, we will play the final with the same frame of mind. 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.”

HBL PSL 6 prize money:

Winner – PKR 75million

Runner-up – PKR 30million

Player of the tournament – PKR3million

Best Batsman – PKR0.8million

Best Bowler – PKR0.8million

Best Fielder – PKR0.8million

Best Wicketkeeper – PKR0.8million

Spirit of Cricket – PKR3.2million