Title holders Peshawar Zalmi will seek reversal of fortunes against Multan Sultans as the second round of matches in the Pakistan Super League starts in Dubai on Tuesday.
Peshawar Zalmi lost to Multan Sultans by seven wickets in the opening match of the third edition of the PSL and a defeat to the newest team had hurt the team which won the title in Lahore last year. But since losing the first game Peshawar have revived their campaign by winning three of their next four games.
Despite losing their Bangladesh duo of Tamim Iqbal and Shabbir Rahman, Zalmi will hope the replacements will fill the vacuum effectively. They will also welcome the return of their inspirational skipper Darren Sammy who hobbled on one leg to hit a last over six for Zalmi’s victory over Quetta Gladiators. Sammy missed the last game against Islamabad due to the hamstring problem but will return against Sultans.
Sammy had lamented lack of runs — 151 against Multan in the first match.
“I think we were about 10 runs short. [Mohammad] Hafeez should be accredited for the way he played to get us to 150 runs. I thought we had enough, but we gave away about 20 runs extra in the field,” Sammy had said.
So Peshawar Zalmi’s hopes will pin on Mohammad Hafeez — who scored a half-century in the first match — and PSL history’s top scorer Kamran Akmal.
Multan Sultans have been impressive since their debut match with former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara leading the batting table in this edition with three half-centuries. They also have table topper in bowling, Imran Tahir who achieved a hat-trick against Quetta Gladiators and has ten wickets to his credit.
League’s other hat-trick was also achieved by Multan’s fast bowler Junaid Khan while lanky Mohammad Irfan is also firing all cylinders in tandem with Junaid. Multan Sultans are led admirably by Shoaib Malik and guided by director Wasim Akram and head coach Tom Moody.
Multan Sultans are leading the points table despite having 7 points against their name, same as Karachi Kings, but they are maintaining a better net run-rate as compared to the men in Blue and Red. Zalmi and Islamabad have six points but on better net run-rate, Zalmi are ahead of Islamabad.