Multans Sultans celebrated a sensational three-way win over Peshawar Zalmi at Karachi National Stadium on Friday.
The match swung like a pendulum when Zalmi needed 15 from the last over. Mid-fast right arm Ali Shafiq, who played his first game at HBL PSL 2020, defended the fourth run of the game’s last ball after throwing two consecutive no-balls in the over.
For much of her innings, Zalmi was in control of the chase. The match turned upside down in the 17th when Imam-ul-Haq, who scored his first half-century this season, fell on Sohail Tanvir.
In the next round, Shafiq Haider Ali (one out of four) and Shoaib Malik (30 out of 25) sent back to the hut. The pressure increased with the wicket from Hammad Azam (seven out of five) on the last ball of the penultimate game when Zalmi lost four gates for 14 runs.
The left-handed opener Imam set the tone for the chase with a 41-ball 56 after Zalmi Kamran Akmal, the highest run-getter in HBL PSL history, lost the second ball of the second round.
Wahab Riaz’s decision to promote himself to a drop was fruitless, as he was released in the third game by Sohail Tanvir and his wicket staggered the batting side at eight for two.
Imam, who hit four fours and two sixes, survived the storm with a 48-year partnership for the third wicket with Umar Amin (29 out of 23 balls).
When the pair’s stand looked promising, Moeen Ali ended it past the last ball of the ninth.
But Imam sent Shahid Afridi, who overtook his first game, for two consecutive limits in the next game to ensure that Zalmi’s chase didn’t lose momentum. He beat Shafiq over for a six and a four on the last two balls of the 12th when Zalmi seemed on the way to a comfortable win.
He entered into a 70-year partnership with Malik for the fourth wicket before the sultans staged the comeback to leave Zalmi shocked.
Sohail was the bowler’s choice with three for 26, while Shafiq took two scalps and gave 31 runs.
Previously, wicket-keeper batsman, Zeeshan Ashraf was seen in Sultan’s innings when he recorded his second half-century of the 2020 edition.
The 27-year-old opened the eyelash with Rohail Nazir, who scored Run-a-Ball 14 on his HBL PSL debut. He scored 52 out of 39 balls, which were occupied by seven fours and one six.
Zeeshan, later named player of the game, added 60 runs for the second wicket with his captain Shan Masood when sultans crossed at a run rate of over eight and more.
However, their progress was slowed down by Rahat Ali (4-0-24-3) when he overtook Zeeshan and Moeen (zero) in a period of three balls on the 12th. Sultans struggled to recover when their run rate dropped to 6.40 in the next five overs and they eventually settled to 154 for six.
On Saturday, Islamabad United will play their last group game against Karachi Kings at Karachi National Stadium. The first ball of the game is thrown at 7 p.m.
Match Summary & Result
Multan Sultans 154-6, 20 overs (Zeeshan Ashraf 52, Khushdil Shah 30 not out, Shan Masood 28; Rahat Ali 3-24)
Peshawar Zalmi 151-7, 20 overs (Imam-ul-Haq 56, Shoaib Malik 30, Umar Amin 29; Sohail Tanvir 3-26, Ali Shafiq 2-31)
Result Multan Sultans win by three runs