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|U Siddiq Khan||18||13||2||1||138.46|
Multan Sultans were finally lifted out of the bottom of the table with an assuring win over Islamabad United in the 16th match of Pakistan Super League. Although the win didn't really push them too high on the ladder, it did just enough to keep them in the realitstic hunt for the playoffs. They're all set to meet Peshawar Zalmi in the upcoming fixture, who haven't really played a game in a while but did exceedingly well in the preceding matches. Peshawar Zalmi are currently placed at the second spot and a win here will take them to the top of the ladder, thanks to their superb net run rate of 1.049. The match is to be played at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on 28th February.
Unlike what they had done until their last meeting, Multan Sultans brought their experience into play and demolished Islamabad United in a convincing win at Dubai where they chased down a 122-run total with considerable ease.
Bowling first, Multan Sultans got off to a decent start as even though United raced to a total of 45 at the end of the first six overs, they had three wickets down. Following that, Dan Christian exhibited a fantastic spell which lasted for ten wickets but accounted for three important dismissals. Mohammad Ilyas, Mohammad Irfan, and Shahid Afridi all contributed with a couple of wickets each.
The Sultans went about chasing the ordinary total without any fuss and sealed the deal with six wickets in hand and 11 balls to spare. Umar Siddiq's settled knock of 46-run provided them with assurance at the top. They lost a couple of wickets towards the back-end of their innings, but it proved to be too little and too late for the United.
J Vince, U Siddiq Khan, J Charles, Shoaib Malik, DT Christian, Tom Moores, SMSK Afridi, Nauman Ali, Mohammad Ilyas, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan.
Despite being perceived as a not-so-strong team on paper prior to the beginning of the tournament, Peshawar Zalmi has really surprised one and all with the kind of run they've exhibited so far in the tournament. They are on the second spot at the ladder, behind only Quetta Gladiators, with a far superior net run rate.
Coincidentally, their last match was against Multan Sultans wherein they chased down the total of 146 with five wickets in hand. Hasan Ali has played an instrumental role in almost all of Peshawar's wins and is currently topping the most wickets charts with 15 wickets. The fact that the next best man on the list is five wickets away from him having played an extra game speaks volumes about the way Hasan Ali has performed.
The Zalmi haven't been as lucky with their batting though. Imam Ul Haq, who is currently the leading run-scorer for Zalmi is fourteenth on the list of most runs in the tournament with 127 runs to his name. All in all, Peshawar Zalmi have a terrific bowling attack which has worked wonders for them thus far. However, the lack of any reliable batting performance thus far will be a cause of concern for the management going forward in the tournament.
Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal, Umar Amin, ADS Fletcher , Kieron Pollard, LA Dawson, DJG Sammy, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Umaid Asif, Ibtisam Sheikh.
Both Multan Sultans and Peshawar Zalmi are coming off victories in their respective games and will be looking to extend their winning run for yet another game. Peshawar Zalmi will additionally draw confidence from the fact that their last win was over Multan Sultans, the team they're set to face on Thursday. Having said that, they have plenty of issues to address with the most prominent being their ill-performing batting order. Multan Sultans, on the other hand, appear to be a well-settled unit post their dominating win over Islamabad United and are better placed to win the upcoming fixture.
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