Multan Sultans have virtually qualified for the play-offs of the Pakistan Super League 2021 after thumping Lahore Qalandars by 80 runs on Friday night.
The only way Muhammad Rizwan’s men can be barred from progressing to the next stage of the tournament is if Islamabad United beats them by more than 300 runs, which is almost impossible.
Moreover, Peshawar Zalmi have also confirmed a playoff berth thanks to the Sultans.
With three spots confirmed already, either Karachi Kings or Lahore Qalandars will make it to the next round now.
The equation for the Kings is simple.
All the reigning PSL champs have to do is win against already eliminated Quetta Gladiators on Saturday.
If Kings lose, the Qalandars will directly progress forward.
Coming back to Friday’s contest, Lahore slumped to their four consecutive defeat of the Dubai leg as they failed to chase down an average total of 170 at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Sohail Akhtar’s men were all out for only 89 runs, with James Faulkner being the highest scorer at 22.
Dhani continues to impress
It took Sultans pace spearhead only 19 balls to reach mesmerizing figures of 4-5.
Claiming his second four-wicket haul in his debut PSL season, Dhani was once again the Man of the Match tonight.
The right-arm pacer wrapped up Lahore’s lower order in a jiffy to hand Muhammad Rizwan another two points.
After being picked for Pakistan’s red-ball team, the right-arm Larkana prodigy might make it to the T20I squad soon too if he continues his good form.
He’s the highest wicket-taker so far with 18 wickets.
Sohaib Maqsood takes charge
Sultans openers Muhammad Rizwan and Shan Masood have been dependable so far, but both fell early tonight.
This is when Sohaib Maqsood stepped up to the task once again, smashing a 40-ball 60 before Shaheen Shah Afridi got the better of him.
Maqsood’s half-century anchored Sultans to a respectable total that helped them mount pressure on Lahore in the second inning.
Multan Sultans 169 for 8 (Maqsood 60, Afridi 3-23) beat Lahore Qalandars 89 for 10 (Faulkner 22, Dhani 4-5, Imran Khan 3-23) by 80 runs.
Preview: Multan Sultans vs Islamabad United
Islamabad United and Multans Sultans will gear up to face each other on Saturday night in Dubai.
Both franchises have already booked their playoff berths.
Probable Man of the Match
Usman Khawaja was Islamabad’s stand-in skipper in the last game wherein he brought out his A-game.
The Australia cricketer blasted a quickfire century in his maiden PSL season to announce his arrival.
He propelled Islamabad to the biggest total in PSL’s history and is likely to continue his red-hot form against Multan.
Muhammad Rizwan and Shadab Khan’s troops are coming off after a four-game win streak.
This means that either of the team will see their clean sheet get spoiled on Saturday.
Islamabad are placed at the top with 14 points in the bag whereas the Sultans are just behind them at 2 with 10 points.
The Sultans seem to have an edge over Islamabad when it comes to containing the opposition in death overs.
Therefore, this will help Multan clinch a close win over Islamabad.