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Sports

PSL 6 qualifier: Multan overpower Islamabad to reach final

  • United will now face the winner of the first eliminator in Eliminator 2
Published June 21, 2021
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Multan Sultans beat Islamabad United by 31 runs in the first qualifier to book their first-ever final berth in the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.

In pursuit of a 181-run target, Islamabad’s batting line collapsed as they got all out for 149 in the 19th over.

While batting first after winning the toss, Multan Sultans took a shaky start, losing their in-form captain Muhammad Rizwan for nought. Shan Masood and Sohaib Maqsood played sensibly and took the score to 59 from their before Shadab Khan trapping Masood in front of the wicket for 25. Rilee Rossouw was the next one to depart without disturbing the scoreboard the same over in a similar fashion.

Without taking the burden of the two back to back wickets, Maqsood and Johnson Charles played with a flow and put up a valuable 63 run partner in just 40 balls to put Multan back on track. Charles departed for his 41 off just 22 thanks to a brilliant catch by Iftikhar Ahmed in the deep.

Sohaib Maqsood, who by then had smacked every United bowler out of the park, missed a slow-ball bouncer by Faheem Ashraf in the 15th over. He departed for 59, leaving Sultans 137/5.

United bowlers bowled brilliantly for the next two overs before Khushdil took on Aakif Javed in the penultimate over, sending for four sixes and a four, taking 29 runs off his final over. His blistering innings of 42 off 22 balls helped Sultans to a sizeable total of 180/5.

Islamabad United stuttered in the big chase, losing their firepower batsman Colin Munro in the first over. He departed for a duck, opening the gate for Multan Sultans bowlers. Muhammad Akhlaq, who had played an explosive knock the other day, got run out in the second over, followed by skipper Shadab Khan who also earned a duck in the next over, leaving his team reeling on 14/3.

Iftikhar Ahmed (16) tried to rebuild the innings with Usman Khawaja and took the score to 54 before he edged a rising delivery from Blessing Muzarabani. Asif Ali, who was sent up the order to bring down the climbing asking rate, got stumped for just one run while trying to take on cunning Imran Tahir.

However, the pressure of falling wickets and rising required run rate could not stop the free-flowing Khawaja who, along with Hussain Talat took the score to 111 in the 15th over before falling for his well-crafted 70.

United skipper Shadab took another gamble by sending young bowler Muhammad Wasim who had shown his colours with the bat in the previous few outings. He didn’t last long and departed for 13.

The weak link, Hussain Talat, who has been a liability on the team of late was still on the crease, consuming ball after ball and scoring at less than run a ball.

The lack of runs from the other end climbed up on Faheem Ashraf who was sent very late to bat. He tried to slog around but could not find the middle of the bat, and fell short. Hussain followed him on the next ball as United got bundled out on 149.

United will now face the winner of the first eliminator in Eliminator 2. The winner of the second eliminator will face Multan Sultans in the final on June 24.

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