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Rilee Rossouw's explosive 75 steers Multan Sultans to comfortable victory

Rilee Rossouw's explosive 75 steers Multan Sultans to comfortable victory
February 18, 2023 Web Desk

MULTAN (92 News) - Rilee Rossouw’s red-hot form continued on Friday as his blistering 75 off 36 anchored Multan Sultan’s to a comfortable 56-run win over Peshawar Zalmi at the Multan Cricket Stadium. The left-hander smoked 12 fours and two sixes as Multan Sultans posted the highest score of this edition – 210 – after being asked to bat, before Peshawar Zalmi were bowled out for 154 in 18.5 overs.

Rossouw arrived in the middle at the 7.2 overs with the scorecard reading 54 for one. Though Shan Masood stuttered to his 20 off 25, Mohammad Rizwan’s free flowing innings ensured that the hosts’ run rate stayed at par.

Rizwan made 66 off 42 – studded with nine fours and a six – before he was undone by a wronger one from left-arm wrist spinner Sufiyan Muqeem. It was after this wicket that Rossouw cut loose and began the onslaught. He added 75 runs in just 35 balls with David Miller, who made 23 off 14, and his superlative knock ended on the last ball of the penultimate over when Salman Irshad hit his back leg as he attempted a reverse sweep.

This was Rossouw’s second half-century in the HBL Pakistan Super League 8 in as many matches.

Kieron Pollard kept the rhythm going, spanking Wahab Riaz for a six and two fours in the last over, which was marred by two no balls and fielding lapses, and added 19 runs to the Multan Sultans’ total. The bulky West Indian made 15 not out off six.

Peshawar Zalmi required a flying start and they got that with Mohammad Haris dispatching Khushdil Shah and Sameen Gul for three sixes – two were hit of consecutive balls off the latter – in the first two overs and racing his side to 22. Multan Sultans, however, struck gold in the fifth over when Ihsanullah, the hero of Multan Sultan’s win against Quetta Gladiators, got Babar Azam out LBW.

The wicket brought Saim Ayub on the crease, who drove Ihsanullah for four with a glorious cover drive. He smoked him for a six over deep fine leg latter in the over and brought Peshawar Zalmi back into the contest.

What followed next must have pleased the Pakistan cricket fans and is a good omen for the national cricketing set up. This pair of these young cricketers – Saim is 20 and yet to make international debut, while Haris, who lightened up the T20 World Cup in Australia, is 21 – put 47 in 4.2 overs with their high quality repertoire of strokes.

Saim came into this tournament after a terrific National T20, where he guided Sindh to the title by scoring 416 runs at an incredible strike rate of 155.22. The left-hander was the second best batter in the tournament behind Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Sahibzada Farhan, who had made 13 runs more.

Saim clubbed Carlos Brathwaite for a towering six over long on at the start of the sixth over, but the moment of the innings came on the first ball of the seventh, when he played a no-look flick for a six over fine leg off Abbas Afridi. Haris would treat Abbas with another maximum at the end of the over.

Abbas, however, had his revenge of sorts when a mix up saw Haris in the middle of the pitch and his direct hit sent the right-hander back to the pavilion after scoring 40 off 23 with four sixes and a four.

Saim held his end, but the wickets continued to fall from the other end, and with a massive total on the board, the pressure continued to mount. Saim, however, went on to score his maiden HBL PSL fifty with a 37-ball 53 (three sixes and as many fours) before he was undone by Usama Mir, who bowled exceptionally for his three for 22 in four overs.

Ihsanullah (three for 24) and Abbas (two for 33) cleaned up the remaining batting order from that point as Multan Sultans, the finalists of the last edition and the winners of the 2021, sailed to their second win in the tournament and to the top of the points table.

Scores in brief:

Multan Sultans 210-3, 20 overs (Rilee Rossouw 75, Mohammad Rizwan 66, David Miller 23 not out, Shan Masood 20; Salman Irshad 2-38)

Peshawar Zalmi 154 all out, 18.5 overs (Saim Ayub 53, Mohammad Haris 40, Rovman Powell 23; Usama Mir 3-22, Ihsanullah 3-24, Abbas Afridi 2-33)

Player of the match – Rilee Rossouw (Multan Sultans)

Saturday’s fixture:

1900 – Karachi Kings v Quetta Gladiators at National Bank Cricket Arena