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A bitter final for Multan Sultans but a sweet round robin

A bitter final for Multan Sultans but a sweet round robin

Multan Sultans became the first team to reach the playoffs of the ninth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL 2024) and subsequently, the first team to enter the event’s final. It was their fourth consecutive final, and many cricket fans expected Mohammad Rizwan and co to lift their second trophy.

However, the nature had different plans. Islamabad United, registering a last-ball win in the PSL 2024 final, added a third trophy to their cabinet. They are now the most successful PSL side.

As for Sultans, they finished as the table-toppers in the robin stage. With seven wins out of ten matches played, they enjoyed more points than any other team, 14. With a superior NRR of 1.150 and only three defeats, they secured their berth in Qualifier 1 where they faced off against United.

Shadab Khan’s Sherus faced a tough time and lost to Rizwan and co. It booked the PSL 2021 winners a direct entry to the final, awaiting their opponent. Luckily, it was United again, defeating Quetta Gladiators in the Eliminator 2. The red-hot squad was already eying revenge on the Sultans, and they did it perfectly.

Nevertheless, Sultans’ outing during the PSL 2024 cannot be underestimated. Not only did they fight valiantly throughout, but also produced a number of match-winners. Although we did not get to see the same of Usama Mir and Mohammad Ali as from the round robin stage, Sultans’s overall performances were nothing short of a spectacle.

Talking about the final, Sultans posted 159/9 with the help of Usman Khan’s half-century in the middle-order. Their openers and top-order became early prey to United. We are seeing a different Imad Wasim in the playoffs as compared to the league stage. He removed opener Yasir Khan on six and top-order David Willey likewise followed by three more wickets.

Iftikhar Ahmed’s 32 helped Sultans to cross the 150-run mark and post a decent total. However, during United’s chase, Martin Guptill had prepared wonders. He scored a quick 50 off 32 to give his side a solid start. This inning was later supported by Azam Khan’s 30 including some decent contributions from others.

While Islamabad were handed over their third PSL trophy, Sultans players who produced exceptional performances throughout the tournament are worth discussing. Usama Mir ended as the leading wicket-taker, gathering a tally of 23 from 11 appearances followed by his mate Mohammad Ali with 18 wickets under his belt from as many matches.

Likewise, on the batting front, we have two from Sultans among the top five run-scorers. Skipper Rizwan sits second with 381 runs from 11 matches and is followed by middle-order batter Usman Khan, boasting 373 runs just from six games.

It must be said that Sultans enjoyed a royal journey throughout their PSL 2024 campaign, however, the final showdown did not end as they wanted. Chin up Sultans!

 

(This is a featured copy based on the writer’s personal opinion. Hence, should not be considered biased from the website)

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