Multan Sultans have reached their first-ever final of the Pakistan Super League after Rizwan’s troops upset the odds to beat two-time champs Islamabad United on Monday night.
A nice blend of experience and youngsters, top team spirit and great captaincy from Mohammad Rizwan has worked out better than expected for Multan Sultans.
Not to forget that this is the first time Rizwan led a PSL side in his T20 career.
The first inning score of 180/5 proved to be too much for the most successful side of the league.
Shadab Khan’s men fell 31 runs short in response.
None of the Islamabad batsmen looked to dominate the opposition apart from Usman Khawaja. They were 149 all out with an over left.
Sohail Tanvir uses experience
Left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir might have nor worn the green jersey for a while, but he proved tonight that he is still T20 royalty in franchise cricket.
The fast bowler kept the Islamabad batters in check from the very beginning, troubling them with unorthodox seam.
His 3/15 earned a Man of the Match trophy.
He only conceded a single boundary in his entire quota of four overs.
Blessing Muzarabani supported him well as he bagged 3 wickets as well.
Khawaja – the lone warrior
Usman Khawaja looked like a man on a mission throughout the Dubai leg of the tournament.
However, his well-made 70 was just not enough to take Islamabad home this time around.
The left-hander kept scoring runs at a decent strike rate, but the wickets kept tumbling on the other end.
Hussain Talat stayed the longest with him.
But Talat’s 25 off 25 meant that one of the two had to take charge to chase down the big total.
Khawaja took the chance but in-form Tanvir got him caught on long-on.
Akif concedes unwanted fifty
Akif Javed has played a pivotal role with his bowling in the middle overs but went off script tonight.
The bowler conceded 50 runs with just one wicket in four overs.
He got hit for six sixes, most of which came in his last over off Khushdil Shah’s bat.
At an economy of 12.5, Javed was an expensive customer in the playoff.
What was Shadab thinking?
There seemed to be no logic in the promotion of Shadab Khan’s order in the Islamabad unit, especially with a run chase this tight.
He has put up poor shows consistently with the bat.
Despite being in a bad nick, Shadab elevated himself to Number 4.
To his surprise, tonight wasn’t his night either. The United captain departed on a duck after merely facing three balls.
His wicket only mounted more pressure on the team.
Sohaib hits vital runs
Sohaib Maqsood scored his fourth fifty of the season to save Multan once again.
The Sultans would have ended with a below-par score if not for his fiery 59.
He averages just over 40 and is the third-highest run-getter this year with 363 runs in 11 games.
His presence in the Multan middle-order has made him an extremely reliable source for Rizwan.
Multan Sultans 180 for 5 (Maqsood 59, Khushdil 42*, Charles 41, Shadab 2-25) beat Islamabad United 149 (Khawaja 70, Tanvir 3-17, Muzarabani 3-31, Tahir 2-29) by 31 runs.