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PSL: Islamabad edge out the Sultans

Islamabad United overwhelmed Multan Sultans on Saturday night in a low-scoring game at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium.

Both franchises have qualified for the PSL 2021 playoffs.

Islamabad finished the first round with 16 points as they managed to win eight out of 10 matches.

The Shadab Khan-led troops chased the 150-run target with two balls and four wickets in hand.

While Multan put up another loss on their record, it is not going to take away their playoff berth.

They have 10 points in hand, just like the eliminated Lahore Qalandars, but having the best net run rate in the league (+1.050) has got them in the second spot.

The Domino effect

To think that the Sultans were cruising at 93/0 at one point and finished 149 all out is mind-boggling.

This season has not got a lot of batting collapses but is surely something to take note of for skip Mohammad Rizwan.

Had they gone down like that in a crucial game, the result would have hurt them.

Another MOTM performance from Wasim

United pacer Mohammad Wasim Jr picked up his best bowling figures in the PSL 2021.

His 4-31 was what caused the domino effect in the Multan batting in the first place.

His wickets were Johnson Charles, Sohail Khan, Mohammad Umar and Blessing Muzarabani.

Wasim’s spell crippled the Sultans batting.

Once he began picking important scalps in his spells, other pacers from the Multan cartel had huge help in mounting pressure on the Rizwan-led unit.

Islamabad United 150 for 6 (Shadab 35, Dahani 2-21, Qadir 2-22) beat Multan Sultans 149 all out (Masood 59, Wasim 4-31) by four wickets.

Preview: Islamabad United vs Multan Sultans

Multan Sultans have a chance to avenge their last loss against Islamabad United on Monday when the two sides will meet in the first playoff of the PSL 2021.

Probable Player of the Match – Mohammad Rizwan

Apart from being a strategically aware skipper, Muhammad Rizwan has been exceptional with the bat.

He is currently the second-highest run-getter in the tournament (470) and might dethrone Babar Azam at the top if he resumes where he left off in the Pakistan leg.

The Sultans opener is likely to go ballistic against United in the playoff, but he needs to take care of his strike rate.

Ever since the league was moved to the UAE, Rizwan has not been able to emulate the knocks he has played on Karachi and Lahore’s tracks.

He has been seemingly slow and has found it hard to cream the ball around the park at will.

Match prediction

Islamabad United have won both games they played against Multan Sultans in the first round of the league.

They clinched the February contest by three wickets in the Pakistan leg and routed the Sultans on Saturday night by four wickets.

They looked dominant, calculated and confident coming off consecutive victories.

The only two-time PSL champions are likely to thump Multans to make it 3-0 and secure a berth in the final.

The Sultans have been brilliant this season, but may not be strong enough to outplay Shadab Khan’s side.

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