From our correspondent
KARACHI: An unbroken 77-run fifth wicket partnership between Rilee Rossouw and Khushdil Shah guided Multan Sultans to a comfortable six wicket win over Peshawar Zalmi in the first-ever HBL Pakistan Super League match at the Multan Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
Enjoying the support of a vociferous home crowd, Multan recovered from a shaky 47 for four in 6.1 overs to get past their 124-run target with nine balls to spare.
The left-handed pair of Rossouw and Khushdil took the team to the victory with contrasting batting performances. While Rossouw grafted his way to a 42-ball 47 (seven fours and one six), Khushdil used the long handle to great effect in his 43 that came off 29 balls and included four fours and two sixes.
The two stabilised the chase first before taking the charge against a fired-up Zalmi attack that fought hard despite a low total to defend. Left-armer Wahab Riaz took two quick wickets, fellow pacer Hasan Ali removed James Vince for five in the opening over.
Wahab took the wickets of Shan Masood (8) and Zeeshan Ashraf (12) while Rahat Ali dismissed Moeen Ali (2) but their efforts wen in vain eventually as Rossouw and Khushdil finished the job for the Sultans.
Earlier Sultans captain Shan won the toss and opted to field first. His decision paid rich dividends as Tom Banton (4) fell in the first over to a terrific catch by the veteran Shahid Afridi off Mohammad Irfan.
The prolific Kamran Akmal, who had scored a century in Zalmi’s win over Gladiators on Saturday, fell for 15. Shoaib Malik and Liam Livingstone fell cheaply as Zalmi were reduced to 41 for four in the sixth over.
The talented youngster Haider Ali batted with great deal of confidence in his 47 (27 balls, six fours and two sixes) but his dismissal in the 11th over triggered a collapse.
Zalmi failed to come to grips against the spinning ball as the lower-order caved-in. Liam Dawson with 22 runs was the only one to offer some fight as Zalmi were rolled over for 123 in 18.3 overs.
Sohail Tanvir, later adjudged the man-of-the-match was the most successful bowler for Sultans with figures of four for 13 in 3.3 overs.
Pacers Irfan and Mohammad Ilyas took two wickets apiece.
Scores in brief
Peshawar Zalmi 123 all out, 18.3 overs (Haider Ali 47, Liam Dawson 22; Sohail Tanvir 4-13, Mohammad Ilyas 2-23)
Multan Sultans 124-4, 18.3 overs (Rilee Rossouw 49 not out, Khushdil Shah 43 not out; Wahab Riaz 2-36)
Result: Multan Sultans won by six wickets