DUBAI: Debutant Multan Sultans secured a comfortable win by seven wickets against the defending champions Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League opener held here on Thursday.
Ahmed Shehzad was dismissed on duck after he whipped a ball straight to deep fine leg. The opener had no control of the stroke he played on Wahab Riaz’s delivery. Hammad Azam took the catch.
Sohaib Maqsood departed after scoring 21 off 16, with one six and three boundaries, after getting caught on the long-off on the delivery of Muhammad Asghar.
Kumar Sangakkara scored a blistering knock of 57 off 51 balls before he edged to the Zalmi keeper Kamran Akmal. Fast bowler Wahab Riaz provided a much-needed breakthrough to the team.
Skipper Sammy played a brief yet fiery innings of 29 runs off 11 bowls, while Hafeez scored half-century today.
Sohail Tanveer bowled the first bowl of the match which undoubtedly stunned Bangladesh and Peshawar Zalmi batsman Tamim Iqbal.
Iqbal survived by taking a review on a decision given by umpire on the second delivery of the first over of fast bowler Muhammad Irfan but the bowler was successful to bag Kamran Akmal’s wicket on the fifth delivery of his over.
Muhammad Irfan had his second wicket after Junaid Khan with his super effort took a spectacular catch of Iqbal on the third delivery of his second over.
Dwayne Smith hit the first six of the tournament on the bowl of leg-spinner Imran Tahir, the batsman also survived a faulty decision on the lbw appeal after taking a review on the bowler’s delivery.
But later in the match a flipper by Tahir trapped Smith in giving an easy catch to Kieron Pollard.
The next one to head to the dugout was the middle-order batsman Haris Sohail. A loose slog on the bowl of Hardus Viljoen provided an easy catch to fast bowler Sohail Tanvir, who was fielding on long-on.
Muhammad Hafeez scored his third PSL half-century with a remarkable boundary.
A pull shot straight to square leg ended Hafeez’s 59-run innings as the ball wet straight to the safe hands of Sohaib Maqsood. The change of pace and length benefited fast bowler Junaid Khan.
Sohail Tanvir took the wicket of the Zalmi skipper on the second last ball of the innings.
Zalmi, captained by the fan-favourite Windies all-rounder Darren Sammy, picked up the PSL trophy last year after defeating Quetta Gladiators in front of an electric crowd at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. The team has retained the essence of its winning lineup, with Dwayne Bravo’s addition a further boost to the squad.
The Yellow Storm, however, is without Shahid Afridi, whose departure to Karachi Kings has left the team without its most popular player.
Multan Sultans, the sixth team in the PSL, are making their debut in this tournament, captained by the ever-steady Shoaib Malik. Their lack of experience is likely to be offset by their balanced lineup, with their key foreign player none other than spin wizard Imran Tahir.