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|U Siddiq Khan||20||20||0||2||100.00|
A stupendous performance by David Wiese and AB de Villiers pushed Multan Sultans to the bottom half of the table and now the Sultans are staring down the barrel as far as moving ahead in the competition is concerned. They've played four matches and have only one win to their name which happened to be in their second match of the series, against Islamabad United. Peshawar Zalmi, too had a similar fate in their last match as they lost to Islamabad United in a low scoring contest. Peshawar Zalmi and Multan Sultans are set to lock horns on 24th February in a bid to get their campaign back on track.
The Sultans will be disappointed by the way they performed in two halves of the respective innings against Lahore Qalandars. They looked all set and unstoppable after the first ten overs in the first innings and clearly had the upper hand with the ball before their bowlers lost it in the second half of the second innings.
Batting first on a smallish Sharjah ground and on a surface which had nothing for the bowlers, Multan couldn't have even dreamt of a better start. The opening pair of James Vince and Umar Siddiq propelled them in a position to dictate terms as Sultans cruised past the hundred run mark in no time. However, the dismissal of Vince not only slowed things down but also resulted in a flurry of wickets as the Sultans could gather only 65 in the last 8.1 overs.
Defending a total of 201, the Sultans began brilliantly and had the game well and truly under control before AB de Villiers and David Wiese demolished their bowlers in the last six overs. Junaid Khan, after a brilliant first over wherein he picked up a couple of wickets. He gave away 33 runs in his last three overs and picked up just one wicket. Barring Mohammad Irfan, who conceded just 28 runs off his four overs, and Shoaib Malik, none of their bowlers was able to contain Qalandars' batsmen, let alone pick wickets.
J Vince, U Siddiq Khan, J Charles, Shoaib Malik, DT Christian, SMSK Afridi, Christopher Green, Hammad Azam, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Ilyas, Mohammad Irfan.
Peshawar Zalmi failed to get across the line yesterday, in their encounter against Islamabad United, as Mohammad Sami derailed their plans of a win with a hattrick in the final over. Peshawar Zalmi have now won and lost two games each, perfectly splitting the four games they've played.
After a decent performance by their bowlers, the Zalmi were needed to chase a total of 159, but their top order's utter failure meant an uphill climb for the likes of Pollard and co. down the order. The game looked over with 92 required off 39 deliveries, but Pollard's spell of colossal hitting brought them in the vicinity of a win. However, no real support from other end and a brilliant last over from Mohammad Sami resulted in a 12-run Peshawar loss.
Earlier with the ball, the Peshawar Zalmi did fairly well. Not only did they never allow Islamabad United to run away with the scoring rate, but they also kept picking up wickets at the regular intervals. Hassan Ali was once again brilliant with the ball and was ably assisted by Sameen Gul who returned with three wickets for 29 runs in his four overs.
Kamran Akmal, Imam-ul-Haq, Umar Amin, Dawid Malan, Kieron Pollard, LA Dawson, DJG Sammy, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Umaid Asif, Sameen Gul.
With both sides coming off heartbreaking losses in their previous matches respectively, it is an important game in many contexts. Although Multan Sultans faltered with the ball in their last match with skipper Malik taking some questionable decisions, their performance with the bat saw a massive improvement as compared to their first three matches. Peshawar Zalmi, on the other hand, have their own aforementioned set of problems to take care of. Despite the loss, Multan Sultans will be particularly happy with the performance of their openers. With the likes of Shoaib Malik and Andre Russell to follow, the Sultans have a strong batting lineup. Their bowling failed miserably against the Qalandars and with plenty of experience in there, we expect a better performance from them. With batting doing well and bowling expected to improve, the Sultans are better placed to emerge victorious in the upcoming fixture.
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