Cricket

Zalmi notch first win; Multan taste first defeat

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MULTAN: In a thrilling ninth encounter of the Pakistan Super League 2024 at the Multan Cricket Stadium, Peshawar Zalmi pulled off a sensational five-run victory over Multan Sultans, despite posting a moderate total of 179 runs.
The Sultans, chasing 180 for victory, fell short despite a valiant effort, thanks to a disciplined bowling performance by the Zalmi bowlers. Peshawar Zalmi with their gigantic effort not only earned a much deserving victory but also applied breaks on the win streak of Multan Sultans
Now in the upcoming encounter of the PSL, Lahore Qalandars will renew their rivalry against Karachi Kings at the Gaddafi Stadium on Saturday (today).
Earlier, Peshawar Zalmi were bundled out for 179 after electing to bat first. Contributions from Haseebullah Khan (37), Rovman Powell (23) and Luke Wood (17*) helped them reach a respectable total. For Multan, David Willey and Mohammad Ali picked up two wickets each.
Chasing 180, Multan Sultans started steadily with openers Yasir Khan (43) and Dawid Malan (52) putting on a 79-run partnership. However, after their dismissals, the Sultans’ batting faltered, losing wickets at regular intervals. Despite contributions from Reeza Hendricks (28), Iftikhar Ahmed‚Äôs 16, a late cameo from Usama Mir (12), they eventually fell short by five runs.
Arif Yaqoob was the star performer for Peshawar with three wickets for 43 runs. Luke Wood, Naveen-ul-Haq and Salman Irshad also chipped in with two wickets each, restricting Multan’s chase effectively.
Peshawar Zalmi’s innings got off to a shaky start with openers Saim Ayub falling cheaply. However, Babar Azam (31), and then Haseebullah Khan (37) and Mohammad Haris (19) steadied the ship with a 49-run partnership for the third wicket. Both played sensibly and rotated the strike well before falling prey to Usama Mir and Mohammad Ali respectively.
Just when Multan Sultans felt they were in control, West Indian power-hitter Rovman Powell unleashed a whirlwind knock of 23 runs off just 11 balls. Including three fours and a six, his cameo brought the Zalmi innings back to life and provided them with some much-needed momentum.
After Powell’s dismissal, Asif Ali provided a brief cameo before falling to Mohammad Ali. However, it was Luke Wood who held his ground at the crease, finishing unbeaten on 17 runs. His innings ensured that Zalmi crossed the 175-run mark, giving their bowlers something to defend.
With a decent total on the board, the pressure shifted to the Multan Sultans’ batting line-up. They will need to be cautious early on and build partnerships to chase down this target. David Willey and Mohammad Ali were the pick of the bowlers for Multan, claiming two wickets each, while Usama Mir chipped in with two scalps as well.

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