PSL 2020, Semi-Final-1, Multan Sultans vs Peshawar Zalmi, Preview – Sultan aim to dazzle and pave their way into their maiden final
Multan Sultans have never qualified into the finals of PSL in its five seasons.
Updated - Mar 16, 2020 5:14 pm
After a long battle of 30 games that went for about for 25 days, Pakistan Super League 2020 has got its semi-finalists. Multan Sultans, Karachi Kings, Peshawar Zalmi and Lahore Qalandars will now battle out to get their hands on the prestigious trophy. Earlier, PSL was scheduled to hold in a playoffs based format. But due to COVID-19 outbreak, now only semi-finals and final will be played in the T20 tournament.
The semi-final-1 will be played between Multan Sultans and Peshawar Zalmi on Monday at Gaddafi Stadium. It is going to be an interesting battle between the two teams as they have faced each other twice in this season. On both the occasions Sultans emerged as the winners.
In the first game between both these sides, Sultans registered victory by six wickets followed by 3 runs in the second. However, now Peshawar Zalmi will have a big opportunity to take avenge the loss of their previous defeats by winning a big game that will automatically knock Multan Sultans out of the tournament.
Coming onto the overall group stage, Multan Sultans managed six wins and suffered two defeats in 10 games with two getting abandoned due to rain. On the other hand, Peshawar Zalmi finished on the fourth position as they registered four wins and suffered 5 defeats in their 10 outings with one match getting washed out due to rain.
At the moment, both the sides look pretty off-beat as they both are coming with a defeat in their last league games. Moreover, they are dealt with a big blow as their overseas players have returned back to their country due to COVID-19 outbreak.
In the previous game, the experiment to open the innings with Moeen Ali didn’t work out. So, the team management might ask Rohail Nazeer to open the innings alongside Zeeshan Ashraf, who has done an impressive job until now. In middle-order Shan Masood, Ravi Bopara, Khushdil Shah and Moeen Ali, who can play some good knocks with the bat.
Khushdil Shah is in red-hot form with the bat, who scored 70 off 29 although his effort went in vain as his team ended up losing the game. On the other hand, in bowling, they will look to come out with the same bowlers with the likes of Ali Shafiq, Imran Tahir, Mohammad Irfan, Sohail Tanvir. And, Shahid Afridi will be an important player to watch as he can well contribute with the bat and ball.
Probable XI: Zeeshan Ashraf (wk), Rohail Nazir, Shan Masood (c), Moeen Ali, Ravi Bopara, Khushdil Shah, Asad Shafiq, Bilawal Bhatti, Shahid Afridi, Junaid Khan, Usman Qadir
Peshawar Zalmi is left with not many options in their dugout as overseas players have already returned back to their country due COVID-19 outbreak. Imam ul-Haq and Kamran Akmal will open the innings for their team followed by Umar Amin, Shoaib Malik and Haider Ali in the middle-order.
Even Wahab Riaz is also well capable of scoring big shots in crucial situations of the match. At the moment, only Malik is one of the players who are in exceptional form with the bat. And, Zalmi will bank on him going into the semi-finals.
However, they have a strong bowling line-up that comprises of Rahat Ali, Hasan Ali. Zalmi has recruited Zimbabwe’s star all-rounder Sikandar Raza ahead of the semi-final. And he might get a game as a replacement for Mohammad Amir Khan. He is going to be an important player that has earned a reputation of a match-winner across the globe. Team management might bring their experienced spinner, Yasir Shah, in the crucial game as a replacement for Hammad Azam, who failed to impress in the match against the same team.
Probable XI: Kamran Akmal (wk), Imam-ul-Haq, Umar Amin, Shoaib Malik, Haider Ali, Sikandar Raza Yasir Shah, Wahab Riaz (C) Adil Amin, Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali.
Focus will be on
Shan Masood (Multan Sultans)
Shan Masood, the skipper of Multan Sultans will have to play a captain’s knock in the crucial semi-final. In the absence of Sultan’s in-form batsman Rilee Rossouw and James Vince, a lot will depend on his performance in the game against Peshawar Zalmi. He has so far scored a total of 253 runs in his nine outings with the help of one century. He is expected to play a role of sheet anchor in order to lead his side to the finals of PSL 2020.
Shoaib Malik (Peshawar Zalmi)
Shoaib Malik, the veteran Pakistan cricketer is in red-hot form with the bat. In eight games, he has scored 239 runs in 8 games with the help of three brilliant half-centuries. In the absence of the overseas players, all the responsibility will be on his shoulders to click a breakthrough knock with the bat in order to lead his team to the finals of the tournament.
Head to Head
Matches played – 5 | Peshawar Zalmi won– 2 | Multan Sultans won – 3 | NR – 0
TV – DSport
Live Streaming – Cricketgateway.com
Match Timings – 2:30 PM IST and 9:00 AM GMT