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Sohail Tanvir, Riley Rossouw take Multan to the top of table

Multan, the city of saints, hosted a match featuring international stars after more than a decade as the Multan Sultans hosted the Peshawar Zalmi. The last international match (an ODI) at Multan was played on April 16, 2008, between Pakistan and Bangladesh. In the 2020 PSL, Multan Sultans played their first home match after losing their opener to Islamabad United.

After winning the toss, Multan forced Peshawar to bat first. The hosts started positively when they got Tom Banton out in just the fifth ball of the match. 19-year-old Haider Ali, steadied the ship for the visitors. While Ali held on to his wicket, other batsmen fell and the Peshawar Zalmi were reduced to 41-4 in 5.3 overs.

Mohammad Ilyas bowled at good lengths and picked wickets of two experienced batsmen, Shoaib Malik and Liam Livingstone. With the advantage of the home crowd, the Sultans began dominating the match leaving the Zalmi under-pressure. 

Ali looked in good nick, was timing the ball smoothly, keeping his team in the match. At 85-4 in 10.4 overs, 170-180 was the expected total. At that moment, Ali was dismissed after trying to play a pull shot and sending an easy catch to Riley Roussow.

Liam Dawson was the last hope of the Zalmi but he also got out after scoring 22 runs leaving fans hopeless. Peshawar slipped to 102-7. Darren Sammy was of no help either as he opened his account after facing 11 dot balls. The Zalmi were bundled out for 123 runs with 9 balls to spare. Haider Ali scored an impressive 47 runs while Sohail Tanvir scalped four wickets and conceded only 13 runs.

With 124 to win, the Sultans didn’t have a dream start to the chase and were 31-3 in just 4.2 overs. The crowd which was fully charged in the first half of the match went silent after watching their team struggle. Rossouw, the survivor, came to rescue his team and started making a partnership with Zeeshan Ashraf. The latter, however, was in a hurry, andgot out after scoring three fours leaving Multan 47-4.

Khushdil Shah was the new batsman on the crease and a strong target for the Zalmi bowlers. He started playing sensibly, built a partnership with Rossouw, taking the match deep. After spending some time on the crease, both started playing aggressively and smashed the Zalmi bowlers. After muscling Amir Khan for 22 runs, the Sultans got easily over the line with 31 balls to spare.

Sohail Tanvir was awarded Man of the Match for his wonderful 4-13 in 3.3 overs. Multan Sultans had the advantage of playing in front of their home crowd and they availed it properly. With this win, they are sitting at the top of the table having a better net run rate.

Cover image credits: ESPNCricinfo

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