By Special Correspondent
Old fox Kumar Sangakkara and lanky paceman Mohammad Irfan led debutants Multan Sultans to upset champions Peshawar Zalmi by seven wickets in the opening game of the third edition of Pakistan Super League in Dubai on Thursday.
After an impressive opening ceremony, the ideal start to the league was given by Multan who restricted their opponents to 151/6 with Irfan taking 2-19 in a hostile four over spell.
Multan’s victory was never in doubt once former Sri Lankan skipper Sangakkara scored a polished 51-ball 57 with two sixes and three boundaries, laying the platform through a second wicket stand of 47 with Sohaib Maqsood (21) and another 52 for the third with Shoaib Malik who scored 30ball 42 not out.
Kieron Pollard smashed 13-ball 21 with four boundaries but it was Malik who hit the winning six off the first ball of the last over.
Zalmi were hampered by the absence of medium pacer Hasan Ali who is nursing an ankle injury and is likely to miss the first three games.
The second day’s matches pits Karachi Kings against Quetta Gladiators while Multan will play their second match against Lahore Qalandars on Friday.
Zalmi were lifted by Mohammad Hafeez’s 52-ball 59 with five boundaries and a six while Darren Sammy’s robust 11-ball 29 laced with three and two boundaries. That lifted Zalmi from 100-3 after 15 overs to add 51 in the last five overs.
Lanky paceman Mohammad Irfan (2-19 off four overs) jolted Zalmis with a burst of two early wickets, dismissing Kamran Akmal in the second over and then had a shaky Tamim Iqbal for 11. Zalmi were struggling at 22-2 before Hafeez added 35 for the third wicket with Dwayne Smith who made 23-ball 24.
Hafeez kept one end intact and completed his fifty off 48 balls. Sammy and Hafeez knocked 21 off the 18th over bowled by Sohail Tanvir. Hafeez finally fell to a slower delivery from Junaid, giving a simple catch to square leg.
Sammy smashed a four and a six off Junaid Khan’s 19th over to take Zalmi past 150.