Multan Sultans won its first Pakistan Super League (PSL) title by beating 2017 champion Peshawar Zalmi by 47 runs in the final on Thursday.
Sohaib Maqsood celebrated his Pakistan recall at 34 after five years with an unbeaten 65, and South African Rilee Rossouw reserved his best for the final by defeating 50 of 21 balls in Multan’s impressive 206-4 total.
Peshawar, who prefers to chase after winning the toss, gained a brief momentum from veteran Shoaib Malik’s 47 runs from 28 balls, but was limited to 159-9.
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Spinner Imran Tahir took his three wickets in his last over, while fast bowler Blessing Muzarabbani of Zimbabwe picked up the important wicket of power play Hazratullah Zazai early to pull the sting out of Peshawar’s chase.
Multan returned strongly to the tournament after the league was moved to Abu Dhabi this month and has won four of its last five league matches. It also beat the favorite Islamabad United in the heat.
Multan struggled in Karachi in February with a lone five-match victory until the league was suspended when several players and support staff tested positive for the coronavirus.
Peshawar was unhappy for the third time and fell in the final for the third time along with 2018 and 2019.
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Maqsood played a key role in Multan’s turnaround in the tournament and once again showed his aggressive batting to complete the league with 428 runs.
Peshawar captain Wahab Riaz eventually took control of the final half, but Hazratullah Zazai dropped Maqsood at 6 in extra cover in the 11th, which was costly.
Maqsood and Rossouw combined just 44 balls in a 98-run partnership, while Riaz and Amad Butt finished with the same duration figures of 0-52. Both batsmen struck between their 11 fours and six sixes when Multan added 124 runs in the last nine overs and took away the game from Peshawar.
Fast bowler Sameen Gul, who played after Umaid Asif was suspended on Thursday for violating the bio-safe bubble, claimed 2-26 as the rest of the bowlers struggled to curb the free-kicking batting of Maqsood and Rossouw.