Shahid Afridi’s back to back sixes took Multan Sultans to their first victory, after the Sultan chased down the 126 runs target against Islamabad United with eight balls to spare, in their second game of the fourth season of Pakistan Super League at Dubai.
PSL 4 Multan Sultans Beat Islamabad United By 5 Wickets
Earlier, Sultans won the toss and sent United in to bat at the Dubai International Stadium.
Opening stand of defending champions Islamabad United failed to give impressive start.
United lost their first wicket in 3rd over. Mohammad Irfan hit a hard length outside off and Rizwan could only splice a catch to Chris Evans at short cover.
Cameron Delport lost his wicket without scoring a single run. Irfan dived at short fine leg to take catch of Delport off Ali Shafiq’s hip-high delivery on leg stump.
Luke Ronchi hit a blistering knock of 51 runs off 33 deliveries, including five sixes, before getting dismissed by Shahid Afridi.
However, it was the United’s middle order that underperformed and kept on losing wickets at regular intervals.
Samit Patel and Fahim Ashraf scored 20 runs each to take Islamabad United to 125 for 7.
United were 96 for seven wickets, but a late fightback from Faheem Ashraf and Samit Patel to a below par but a respectable score.
Speedster Ali Shafiq, who made his debut for Multan Sultans was the most impressive with figures of 2 for 11 in his spell of four overs.
Veteran T20 superstar Shahid Afridi too was economical with his figures of 2 wickets off 18 run in four overs.
Meanwhile, fast bowler Juniad Khan also grabbed two wickets leaking 33 runs, in his bowling spell. Multan’s lanky speedster Mohammad Irfan picked up one wicket, and was also involved in a spectacular catch of Cameron Delport off Ali Shafiq delivery, as well.
In reply, Sultans achieved the target for loss of five wickets with five balls in spare.
Islamabad bowlers scrapped hard, and in the end, Multan needed the experience of two most able finishers in recent times to finish this off. Masood started off well, but fell to some mindless running. Evans and Azam just didn’t get their timing going. But then Russell and Afridi came in with lusty blows, while Malik played the anchor’s role to perfection in getting Multan their first win of the tournament.
Skipper Shoaib Malik remained top scorer with an unbeaten knock of 31 runs off 29 deliveries.
Shadab Khan took two wickets while Islamabad United captain Muhammad Sami bagged one.
Ali Shafiq received the man of the match award.