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Multan Sultans crush Quetta Gladiators to set Qualifier clash with Peshawar Zalmi

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KARACHI: An all-round performance led Multan Sultans to ease past Quetta Gladiators by a massive margin of 79 runs in the 30th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 9 here at National Bank Stadium on Tuesday.

The emphatic victory helped Sultans to reclaim the top spot in the PSL 9 standings with 14 points and also booked their Qualifiers clash with Peshawar Zalmi, who moved to second with a point less.

Set to chase 186 against a challenging surface, the Gladiators’ batting unit unfolded on a meagre 106 and thus succumbed to a massive defeat ahead of their Eliminator clash against Islamabad United.

Openers Jason Roy (3) and Saud Shakeel failed to give Gladiators a strong start as the former fell prey to David Willey in the third over with 18 runs on the board.

Shakeel followed his opening partner’s footsteps and got run out in the same over. He scored 14 off nine deliveries, hitting two boundaries including a six.

The Gladiators then lost two more wickets — Rilee Rossouw (10) and Laurie Evans (1) in quick succession and consequently slipped to 47/4 in 6.1 overs.

Youngster Omair Bin Yousuf offered some resistance in the middle phase with a courageous knock until falling victim to Usama Mir in the 12th over.

Yousuf remained the top-scorer for the Gladiators with a 25-ball 37 with the help of three boundaries and two sixes.

Following his dismissal, the Sultans’ bowlers ran through the Gladiators’ batting tail to seal a resounding victory for the 2021 champions.

David Willey and Usama Mir led the bowling attack for the Sultans with three wickets each, followed by Abbas Afridi, who claimed two.

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Put into bat first, the Sultans registered a formidable total on the board, courtesy of a collective effort from their batters.

The Sultans, however, had a contrasting start to their innings as they lost their opener Yasir Khan (12) in the third over with just 16 runs on the board.

Following the early blow, in-form Usman Khan joined Mohammad Rizwan in the middle and knitted an anchoring partnership.

Their second-wicket stand yielded 52 runs before Abrar Ahmed cleaned up Usman with a quicker delivery.

Usman managed 21 off 23 deliveries, hitting three boundaries.

Meanwhile, Rizwan stood his ground firm and partnered strongly with Johnson Charles to put Sultans in control.

They added 65 runs for the third wicket before Rizwan fell victim to Mohammad Amir in the 17th over.

He remained the top-scorer for the Sultans with a 47-ball 69 which featured one boundary and four sixes.

Later, Iftikhar Ahmed joined forces with set-batter Charles and bolstered the Sultans’ total with belligerent hitting.

The duo added a quickfire 46 runs to the tally before Charles finally perished in the final over.

He remained a notable run-getter for the Sultans with 53 off 29 deliveries, hitting six boundaries and three sixes.

Iftikhar, on the other hand, carried his bat all the way through with an unbeaten 20 off eight deliveries which included two boundaries and a six.

Mohammad Amir led the bowling charge for Quetta Gladiators with two wickets but was expensive while Abrar and Akeal Hosein and Mohammad Wasim Jr picked one each.

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