Multan Sultans 152 for 3 (Sangakkara 57, Malik 42*) beat Peshawar Zalmi 151 for 6 (Hafeez 59, Sammy 29, Irfan 2-19) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
The one worry people had about Multan Sultans was the absence of enough power hitters, Shoaib Malik‘s men instead topping up on classical batsmen. How fortunate, then, that Sultans kicked off with a chase of 152, ideally suited to their particular batting line-up.
The chase was spearheaded by a typically composed half-century by Kumar Sangakkara and an unbeaten 42 from the captain Malik. Defending champions Peshawar Zalmi didn’t bowl badly, but they simply didn’t have enough runs on a greener, faster strip than is not commonly associated with the UAE.
Darren Sammy’s men had begun their innings shakily, thanks to a brilliant opening spell by Sohail Tanvir, who swung the ball in sharply. He was expertly backed up by Mohammad Irfan, whose extra bounce proved particularly troubling for last year’s leading run-scorer Kamran Akmal; he fell for a duck attempting to pull cross the line. A half-century from Mohammad Hafeez kept the innings together, while supporting roles from Dwayne Smith and Haris Sohail helped Zalmi regroup, but run rate was always a concern. Sammy’s 29 off 11 balls helped them get past 150, but in the end, it was the early sluggishness that he and his team were left to bemoan.
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Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.