Thursday Jun 24, 2021
KARACHI: Multan Sultans' skipper Mohammad Rizwan will try his utmost to vanquish the experienced Peshawar Zalmi tonight (Thursday) as the two teams lock horns for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 trophy.
The showdown is slated to begin at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday (today) at 9pm.
Both sides did well in the playoffs to make it to the decider.
Multan defeated Islamabad United in the Qualifier by 31 runs to reach their first PSL final. Zalmi, the 2017 winners, defeated Karachi Kings by five wickets and overwhelmed two-time champions Islamabad United by eight wickets in the eliminators to set the final date with Sultans.
Multan’s success story reflects their strong resolve and the commitment with which they played in the Abu Dhabi leg after having won just one game from five outings in the Karachi leg.
Multan, coached by former Zimbabwe skipper Andy Flower, registered four successive wins in Abu Dhabi before losing the final league game against United. But it did not affect their position as they finished second due to better net run-rate despite having finished with ten points along with Zalmi and Kings.
The Sultans have played with specialist batsmen and bowlers. The technique has come a long way in ensuring the side's success.
Shan Masood, Sohaib Maqsood, Mohammad Rizwan, Khushdil Shah and Johnson Charles are in dangerous form and when they click, can tick the scoreboard like anything.
Shahnawaz Dhani, Imran Khan Senior, Sohail Tanvir, Blessing Muzarabani and leggie Imran Tahir make a very lethal bowling combination that can put even the best PSL batting side in trouble on any day, at any given pitch.
Rizwan has said the Sultans will go all out for the trophy.
“We are fully prepared. We will put in our best effort and will pray to God Almighty for the desired result,” Rizwan told a news conference on Wednesday.
The skipper said his team had prepared plans for the opposition, adding that getting Zazai in the early overs will be the key to an easy victory.
“We will go with a different plan against every player. If we get an early wicket of Zazai, Zalmi have Shoaib Malik and they have depth in their batting. I cannot disclose the details but we have planned for the whole opposition,” Rizwan said.
Zalmi, playing their fourth PSL final, are more experienced and will have the advantage of this in the decider. Zalmi will be looking forward to another handy contribution from their Afghan opener Hazratullah Zazai who hit back-to-back fifties to play a key role in Zalmi’s wins in the eliminators.
Introducing Australian batsman Jonathan Wells against United in the eliminator on Tuesday was a solid step from Zalmi as the right-hander hit an unbeaten 55.
Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik has experience to his advantage and can swing the game in Zalmi's favour. Malik, having hit two impressive fifties and an unbeaten brief-but-fiery knock against United in the eliminator-2 on Tuesday, will be the main actor for Zalmi as he is fit and can bat in pressure situations.
Rovman Powell and Sherone Rutherford are the others who will be looking to support Zalmi’s batting in the death overs.
Wahab Riaz, having a fine event so far with the ball, will be looking to lead from the front. Umaid Asif, Amad Butt and a few spin options will try to thwart Multan’s batsmen’s onslaught.