Zeeshan Ashraf splendid batting performance followed by excellent spells from Sohail Tanvir and Ali Shafiq to see Multan Sultans pull off a heist over Peshawar Zalmi in the 27th match of 2020 Pakistan Super League played at National Stadium in Karachi on Friday.
Captain Wahab Riaz won the toss for Peshawar Zalmi and opted to bowl first. Multan Sultans got off to a decent start, courtesy 32-run opening stand between Zeeshan Ashraf and Rohail Nazir. Rookie opener Rohail Nazir scored a run-a-ball 14 with the help of two boundaries.
Zeeshan Ashraf continued to play positively and keep the scoreboard ticking for Multan Sultans. He led the fightback for the side with a 60-run partnership with Captain Shan Masood. Wicket-keeper Zeeshan Ashraf notched up second half-century for the side this season. He scored 52 runs off 39 balls with the help of seven boundaries and one six.
Moeen Ali and Ravi Bopara perished for low scores to see Multan placed in a precarious situation at 103 for 4 after 14 overs. Captain Shan Masood also failed to get a big score and perished in the 15th over to see Sultans lose their fifth wicket. Masood scored 28 runs off 23 balls with the help of three boundaries.
Youngster Khushdil Shah put in a handy innings for the side to help Multan Sultans push their beyond 150-run mark. Shah put on a crucial partnership with Shahid Afridi to help Multan score to 50 runs in the last five over of the innings.
Khushdil Shah remained unbeaten till end and scored 30 runs off 20 balls with the help of two sixes. Veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi chipped in with 19 runs off 13 balls with the help of one four and one six.
For Peshawar Zalmi, pacer Rahat Ali was the standout bowler on display with 3 for 24 in his four overs. Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir Khan bowled well and claimed one wicket apiece.
In pursuit of 155 runs, Peshawar Zalmi got off to a poor start as opener Kamran Akmal was clean bowled by Mohammad Irfan. Captain Wahab Riaz promoted to no.3 in the batting order proved to be a big blunder as he was dismissed by Sohail Tanvir in the 3rd over.
Opener Imam-ul-Haq and Umar Amin led the recovery for Peshawar Zalmi with a 48-run partnership for the third wicket. Playing his first PSL game, Umar Amin batted sensibly and scored 29 runs off 23 balls with the help of four boundaries. Off-spinner Moeen Ali got rid of Umar Amin to see Zalmi lose their third wicket with 56 runs on the board.
Shoaib Malik came to the crease and stitched a 70-run partnership with Imam-ul-Haq to help Peshawar Zalmi get close to the target.
Imam-ul-Haq was the standout performer with the bat and notched up his first 50 plus score this season. He finished the innings with the top-score of 56 runs off 41 balls with the help of 4 fours and 2 sixes.
In his second spell for Multan, Tanvir dismissed Imam-ul-Haq to see Zalmi lose their fourth wicket in the 16th over. Al-Shafiq picked up key wickets of Haider Ali and Shoaib Malik to see Zalmi panic in the chase. Despite vital runs from Hammad Azam and Adil Amin, Zalmi fell three runs short of the target.
For Multan, Left-arm quick Sohail Tanvir was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 26 in his four overs. Ali Shafiq also made a splendid comeback in his second spell and finished with figures of 2 for 31.
For his composed half-century, wicket-keeper batsman Zeeshan Ashraf was named player of the match.