Thursday, December 7, 2023

Multan Sultans hold nerve in sensational three-run win over Karachi Kings

Multan Sultans hold nerve in sensational three-run win over Karachi Kings
February 23, 2023 Web Desk

MULTAN (92 News) - Centuries in T20 cricket are not often eclipsed, but the Wednesday night threw one such classic in which Multan Sultans snatched victory by mere three runs against Karachi Kings in what was the last Pakistan Super League 8 contest in Multan.

The heroics from the two captains have etched the 11th match of the PSL 8 as one of the epics in the tournament’s history. Mohammad Rizwan, the home side’s captain, scored a splendid century – his first of the HBL PSL and overall second – that set Karachi Kings 197 to win and with the match almost settled in Multan Sultans’ favour, Imad Wasim’s blazing 46 not out off 26 made the Karachi Kings fan and dugout believe till the last ball.

The match had swung like a pendulum but the last two overs had the most thrill and drama. Here is how it went. With 40 needed, the pair of Imad and Ben Cutting thrashed Mohammad Ilyas for 18. Abbas Afridi, who had been a victim of Karachi Kings openers’ ruthless attack, bowled a waist high no-ball on what should have been the first ball of the last over that was launched over the midwicket boundary for a gigantic six by Imad. After a wide and a single, Cutting smoked a 107-meter long maximum, which was followed by another wide. With six needed off three balls, Cutting holed out to long-off. Young all-rounder Muhammad Irfan Khan could only muster a single and with five off one, Imad could only get a single with his powerful shot to the long-off.

Karachi Kings openers – James Vince and Matthew Wade – went ballistic from the onset of the run chase and the pair raced their side to 72 in the Powerplay. The introduction of Usama Mir paid dividends for Rizwan right away as the leg-spinner trapped Wade in front. It was a bizzare mix-up between Vince and Haider Ali in the 10th over that ended up in the former’s run out and allowed Multan Sultans to claw back into the game.

So good had Vince been that he had made 75 of his side’s 105 runs by the 9.5 overs mark, when he was run out, in just 34 balls, smashing seven fours and six disdainful sixes.

Haider (12 off 17) and Shoaib Malik (13 off 19) failed to keep up with the scoring rate and when the latter fell in the 17th over, Karachi Kings needed 49 off 19.

Though Ihsanullah, the leading wicket-taker of the season, remained wicket less, he bowled superbly for none for 17 off four overs. Abbas took two wickets for 55.

Karachi Kings would have regretted their decision to field after winning the toss with Rizwan and Shan Masood breaching the 50-run mark in the Powerplay in what turned out to be a sparkling 85-run stand from 10.2 overs. The pair was aided by lacklustre fielding as the first phase of the Powerplay saw misfields convert into boundaries.

It was an outing to remember for Rizwan as his scintillating strokeplay saw him race to 100 from 50 in just 18 balls after he had taken 42 balls to breach the 50-run mark. Such was Rizwan’s domination that Rilee Rossouw, upon whom Multan Sultans have relied to play the role of the top-order aggressor, was overshadowed. The wicketkeeper-batter spanked 110 off 64 balls, hitting 10 fours and four sixes.

After struggling to get going in the first four matches, Shan scored 51 off 33 (six fours and a six) and Rossouw made 29 off 21.

Multan Sultans have now won seven of the eight matches they have played in Multan in the HBL PSL history. Their only loss came this season when they lost to Lahore Qalandars in the season opener. They sit comfortably at the top of the table with eight points. Karachi Kings find themselves on the fourth spot with a solitary win – that against arch rivals, Lahore – in five matches.

Scores in brief:

Multan Sultans 196-2, 20 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 110 not out, Shan Masood 51, Rilee Rossouw 29)

Karachi Kings 193-5, 20 overs (James Vince 75, Imad Wasim 46 not out, Matthew Wade 20; Abbas Afridi 2-55)

Player of the match – Mohammad Rizwan (Multan Sultans)

Tomorrow’s fixture:

1900 – Peshawar Zalmi v Islamabad United at the National Bank Cricket Arena, Karachi