The fight for the title started in February bit the champion will be decided tonight when Multan Sultans lock horns against Peshawar Zalmi for Pakistan Super League (PSL) season six title in Abu Dhabi.
The tournament has been very exciting and it is now time for the ‘Final Takra’. It is fair to say that both of these teams are the form teams of this year’s competition and absolutely deserve their place in the final.
Mohammad Rizwan-led Sultans won the Qualifier while Peshawar Zalmi managed to win the two Eliminators to book their berth for the fourth time in PSL’s history.
Zalmi have received a major blow as their two players, Haider Ali and Umaid Asif were suspended due to a breach in COVID-19 protocols. Haider was benched in the last match while Umaid has been consistent for Zalmi in the middle-overs.
Multan Sultans (Overview)
Sultans managed to defeat Islamabad United without a single run from Mohammad Rizwan, their best batsman. That is a sign of some real depth in the team. Shan Masood has been very good ever since he came back to the top of the order and managed to get the Multan Sultans off to good starts.
On the other hand, Sohaib Maqsood scored 59 in the previous match and is in good form as well. With Rilee Rossow, Johnson Charles, and Khushdil, the Multan Sultans have a lot of batting power for the back-end.
Sultans have been very lucky as bowlers have complimented batters throughout the Abu Dhabi leg. The bowling has been consistently good for the Sultans. Shahnawaz Dhani, Blessing Muzarabani, Sohail Tanvir, Imran Tahir, and Imran Khan form a fantastic bowling attack.
Peshawar Zalmi (Overview)
Zalmi has progressed into the finals thanks to some terrific batting performances from Hazratullah Zazai at the top of the order. His power-hitting has made Zalmi standout in both the Eliminators
On the other hand, the form of Shoaib Malik and Sherfane Rutherford have been commendable. They picked Australia’s Jonathan Wells for the all-important Eliminator against Islamabad and had a fruitful return as he scored 55 off 43.
Amad Butt, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Imran and Mohammad Irfan will be the go-to attach while spinner Abrar Ahmed may play in place of Umaid. Once again, this is a fantastic bowling lineup but it does have some weaker links.
Players to watch out for
Hazratullah Zazai: Zalmi’s top order have shaped into a completely different look after Zazai was inducted into the playing XI. In just four matches, he has bagged three player of the match awards and has scored 206 runs at a strike-rate of almost 190. He can cause deep trouble to Sultans, if he managed to get start in the all-important final.
Sohaib Maqsood: On the other hand, All eyes will be on Sohaib Maqsood, who has been exceptional for the Sultans in the tournament. His strike rate has been highly impressive and in 11 games, the hard-hitting batsman has notched 363 runs at an average and strike rate of 40.33 and 152.52 respectively.
Wahab Riaz: Zalmi’s skipper Wahab Riaz has been at the top of his game. In bowling, he has 18 wickets to his credit and is the second leading wicket-taker of the competition. Zalmi relies heavily on Wahab’s experience.
Imran Khan: For Sultans, rookie Shahnawaz Dahani has been key to their success but after the introduction of Imran Khan, Sultans look a completely different attack. In Abu Dhabi leg, he has 10 wickets in six games and his control in the middle-overs has been key behind Sultans’ success.
In the first match of group stage, Zalmi chased down the target of 194 for the loss of four wickets while Sultans outclassed Zalmi the second match by eight wickets.
Zalmi cruised to win at National Stadium courtesy of partnership between Imam-ul-Haq and Tom Kohler-Cadmore, followed by Haider Ali’s late blitz of 8-ball 24.
In Abu Dhabi, Dahani claimed four wickets whereas Rizwan (82) and Maqsood (61) helped Sultans to victory.