Multan Sultans secured their maiden title.
In what was one of the most riveting comebacks in a T20 league, a down and out Multan Sultans changed their fate to secure their maiden Pakistan Super League title, defeating Peshawar Zalmi in the titular clash by a comprehensive margin of 47 runs.
Sultans’ journey was indeed one of two halves: they lost four of their first five league games in Karachi, but fired on all cylinders in Abu Dhabi, losing only one out of the seven they played. They pipped table-toppers Islamabad United in the first qualifier to have one hand on the PSL trophy, and their triumph under the night sky of Abu Dhabi ensured they grabbed it by both by the end of a tumultuous season.
Sultans were put into a position of strength by Shan Masood (37 off 29) and skipper Mohammad Rizwan’s (run-a-ball 30) 68-run opening partnership. Capitalizing fruitfully on the start, brisk and vital half-centuries from Sohaib Maqsood (65 off 35) and Rilee Rossouw (50 off 21) guided them to a massive 206/4, before their bowlers squeezed the life out Peshawar Zalmi to cut them comfortably short.
Although Shahnawaz Dahani could not emulate the past performances that made him top the wicket-taking charts, his teammates ensured that his toil in the tournament did not go in vain. Blessing Muzarabani and Imran Khan bagged two each, while the veteran spinner Imran Tahir landed three blows in a space of four balls to suck out even the slightest of life that remained in the chase.
Only four of Zalmi’s batters mustered a double-digit score, with the top two contributions coming from Kamran Akmal (36 off 28) and Shoaib Malik (48 off 28). However, on the given day, they never seemed to have that which it takes to gun down a target of such magnitude. Falling to 159/9, Zalmi lost their third final in the last four years, with their last title dating back to 2017 in the second PSL edition.
PSL 2021 Awards – Who got what?
Winner: Multan Sultans – Rs 3.5 crore
Runners-up: Peshawar Zalmi – Rs 1.5 crore
Player of the final: Shoaib Maqsood (Multan Sultans) – Rs 3.75 lakh
Player of the tournament: Shoaib Maqsood (Multan Sultans), 428 runs – Rs 14 lakh.
Highest run-getter: Babar Azam (Karachi Kings), 554 runs in 11 matches – Rs 3.75 lakh
Highest wicket-taker: Shahnawaz Dahani (Multan Sultans) 20 wickets in 11 matches – Rs 3.75 lakh
Best wicketkeeper: Mohammad Rizwan (Multan Sultans) – Rs 3.75 lakh
Best fielder: Iftikhar Ahmed (Karachi Kings) – Rs 3.75 lakh