Sunday Mar 08, 2020
Helped by legspin legend Imran Tahir and opening batsman James Vince, Multan Sultans took a giant step towards play-off qualification on Sunday when they beat Islamabad United by 9 wickets in a rain-shortened 9-overs-a-side match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.
Yet another mid-innings masterclass from Tahir helped Multan Sultans restrict Islamabad to 91-7 despite a brilliant start.
Islamabad, put into bat first, were off to a dazzling start and were looking past the 100-run mark with the in-form Shadab Khan (14) and Colin Munro (25) at the crease and looking menacing.
However, Tahir, in his quota of two overs (5th and 7th overs), removed both of them and gave away a mere 13 runs to take the air out of Islamabad innings.
In response, Multan had pretty much decided the match in just the first two overs. The opening over bowled by Dale Steyn went for 14 runs whereas the second one bowled by the young Akif Javed was bled for 21, which featured five straight fours by James Vince, who finally earned his keep.
By the end of over 2, all Multan needed were 57 runs from 42 balls with all 10 wickets in hand. Islamabad, meanwhile, needed a miracle at this point.
Vince completed his 50 off 20 balls in the 5th over and eventually finished with 61 off 24 balls.
The Sultans now have 11 points after seven matches with three more to play.
Alarmingly, Islamabad have now lost all their matches in Rawalpindi, their supposed home ground.
Islamabad United: L Ronchi†, C Munro, Rizwan Hussain, Shadab Khan*, CA Ingram, Asif Ali, Muhammad Musa, Amad Butt, Akif Javed, DW Steyn, Rumman Raees
Multan Sultans: MM Ali, Zeeshan Ashraf†, Shan Masood*, RR Rossouw, JM Vince, Khushdil Shah, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Ilyas, Imran Tahir, Junaid Khan
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