The ideology of Multan Sultans management to focus on data while drafting their team proved to be fruitful as they were the team to beat in the group stages of PSL 5. Multan set the tone for the tournament with their flamboyant yet calculated cricket under the leadership of Shan Masood.
Specialist T20 cricketers like Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir and Imran Tahir may be at the twilight of their careers but their experience was critical for Multan as they topped the group stages with 6 wins out of 10 matches.
|6||Karachi Kings||No Result|
|8||Quetta Gladiators||No Result|
Let’s have a deeper look into Multan’s journey into the playoffs:
1st Match vs Lahore Qalandars
Multan kicked off their campaign against Lahore Qalandars at Gaddafi stadium Lahore. Imran Tahir, Moeen Ali and Mohammad Ilyas bowled brilliantly to restrict Lahore to 138, before chasing down the total with 23 balls to spare. Captain Shan Masood top scored with 38 runs in the chase.
2nd Match vs Islamabad United
Multan faced 2 times champions Islamabad United in their 2nd match. Zeeshan Ashraf’s wonderful half-century off 29 balls helped Multan reach a decent total of 164. Islamabad came out all guns blazing and half-centuries from their openers, Luke Ronchi and Colin Munro, took the game away from Multan Sultans. Islamabad United won the game by 8 wickets.
3rd Match vs Peshawar Zalmi
Multan played in front of their home crowd for the first time in PSL history. Multan put on a spectacle for the home fans as they bowled out Peshawar Zalmi for 123 runs with Sohail Tanvir picking up 4 wickets. Multan easily chased down the target with 31 balls to spare. South African Rilee Roussow top-scored with 49* runs.
4th Match vs Karachi Kings
Multan batted first and scored their highest total of the tournament yet. Moeen Ali opened the batting and scored 65 runs to help Multan set Karachi a target of 187. Imran Tahir, Shahid Afridi and Sohail Tanvir ripped through Karachi’s batting line-up, bowling them out for 134 to secure a 52 runs victory.
5th Match vs Quetta Gladiators
This match will be remembered for a magnificent century by Rilee Rossouw, his first in the PSL and overall second century in this year’s PSL. Multan scored 199/5 and restricted Quetta Gladiators to 169/7, winning the match by 30 runs. Bilawal Bhatti was the pick of the bowlers as he took 3 wickets.
6th Match vs Karachi Kings
Multan were struggling at 102/6 before the match was abandoned due to rain. Both teams shared the points.
7th Match vs Islamabad United
Another rain-affected match took place at Rawalpindi, but this time around Multan were not to be stopped. The play was reduced to 9 overs. Islamabad batted first and posted a challenging total of 91/7. James Vince took charge and dismantled the Islamabad bowling line-up. Vince scored 61 runs off 24 balls as Multan chased down the target in 6.4 overs.
8th Match vs Quetta Gladiators
The match was abandoned without a ball being bowled hence both the teams shared the points.
9th Match vs Peshawar Zalmi
Zeeshan Ashraf scored another brilliant half-century and helped Multan to a total of 154/6. Peshawar looked set to chase down the total, but the experience of Sohail Tanvir turned the tide in Multan’s favor as Peshawar fell short by 3 runs.
10th Match vs Lahore Qalandars
The last match before PSL was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic was played behind closed doors. Multan fielded a relatively new looking lineup considering they had already qualified. Multan posted a total of 186/6 with Khushdil Shah scoring a blistering 70 runs off 29 balls, including 6 sixes. Lahore batsmen were brilliant in the chase with Chris Lynn scoring his first century in PSL and third of this tournament to lead Lahore to a convincing 9 wicket victory.
Multan aced through the group stages with convincing performances throughout the group stages. Their main strength was a collective team effort with no standout individual players. Captain, Shan Masood, was their top scorer and left-arm fast bowler, Sohail Tanvir, picked up the most wickets for them.
Multan Sultans and Karachi Kings will face off in the Qualifier on 14th November at National Stadium Karachi. The winner of the match will move onto the final set to be played on 17th November at the same venue.
If Multan lose the match, they will get another chance as they will face the winner of the 1st Eliminator, between Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi in the 2nd Eliminator. The winning team will qualify for the final.
Multan will be looking to continue their form and lift their first-ever PSL title.
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