Imran Tahir and Shahnawaz Dahani picked up three wickets each as Zalmi crumbled against the scoreboard pressure
Multan Sultans 222 for 3 (Rizwan 82, David 51, Malik 1-17) beat Peshawar Zalmi 165 for 8 (Cutting 52*, Zazai 43, Tahir 3-25, Dahani 3-41) by 57 runs
Wahab had said he might bat first after winning the toss, but put in that position, he opted to insert Sultans in. Four of the first six overs saw two boundaries scored each as Shan Masood and Rizwan powered their side to 61 by the end of the powerplay. When Shoaib Malik finally had Masood carve to backward point, Sultans had built the perfect platform with 85 in nine overs. It gave the incoming batters the freedom to attack from the get-go, but Sohaib Maqsood’s little cameo was only a warm-up act for what David was about to unleash.
A six and a four off the first two balls set the tempo, and when he mauled Wahab into the sightscreen, forcing the bowler to go around the wicket, the skies were darkening around the men in yellow. Rizwan was now the support act, and within a blink, David had surged to 50 off 18 balls, the joint-fastest in this year’s PSL. Even Rizwan’s dismissal in the penultimate over brought little respite to Zalmi as Khushdil Shah took Wahab to the cleaners with three successive sixes in the 20th over as Sultans smashed 127 in the last nine overs.
The runs dried up through the following overs as Tahir and Abbas Afridi applied the brakes, and like a boa constrictor, Sultans were squeezing the life out of the opponent. That made Zalmi frantic, and in that chaos, Tahir invariably shone. Malik holed out to long-on before Tahir got two off successive balls in the following over, sending Sherfane Rutherford and, more importantly, Zazai with some beautiful variations of flight.
Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000