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Sultans ease past defending champions in PSL 2018 opener
PSL 2018

Sultans ease past defending champions in PSL 2018 opener

Mohammad Irfan bowled a fierce first over, almost got rid of the Tamim Iqbal (thanks to the DRS the decision was overturned) and a ball later gave his team the ideal start by getting rid of the PSL run-machine, Kamran Akmal. This set the tone for the rest of the match; Zalmi were on the back foot during most parts. The electrifying almost full house got the worth of its money; despite not being a nail-biter the match had enough moments to lift the crowd.

After the ‘glitz and glam’ of the opening ceremony, it was game time. The much-awaited inaugural match of the 3rd edition of the Pakistan Super League finally got going.

Multan Sultans, the debutants of the PSL had a point to prove. Their team selection was questioned after the draft, they had leftovers from other teams, not that they had a choice but boy did they put up a show tonight. Their opening fast bowlers, Sohail Tanvir and Mohammed Irfan kick started the proceedings on the right note. They bowled with venom; shared 3 wickets. Junaid Khan and Hardus Viljoen gave perfect support, helped restrict Zalmi to 151. Imran Tahir was a tad expensive with figures of 37 for 1.

Peshawar Zalmi, the defending champions looked rusty. They were rescued by Mohammad Hafeez, who scored a steady 59 off 52 balls and Darren Sammy’s quick-fire 29 off 11. Zalmi managed to set a target of 152.

Without their star fast bowler, Hasan Ali (who might miss a few more matches as he is under treatment) Zalmi had limited options. Their fourth, fifth and sixth bowler failed to restrict the opposition batsmen. Chris Jordan, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Asghar had combined figures of 12 overs, 68 runs and 3 wickets while rest of the bowlers were taken to the cleaners; went 76 runs from 7.1 overs.

Veteran batsmen, Kumar Sangakkara and Shoaib Malik anchored the innings for Sultans after the early wicket of Ahmad Shahzad. Sangakkara scored his third PSL fifty ensuring his team reached close to the finish line. Malik played a perfect captain's knock, scoring 42 off 30.