The Multan Sultans continued their winning streak in the HBL Pakistan Super League, beating Islamabad United by 52 runs in a thrilling encounter at the Multan Cricket Stadium. The match was poised for a tense finish until Usama Mir turned the game on its head with a superb over that saw him take two wickets and swing the momentum in the Sultans’ favour.
The Multan Sultans, playing at their home ground, got off to a good start after being put in to bat by the United captain Shadab Khan. However, they lost two quick wickets, including that of the in-form Rilee Rossouw, before David Miller and Kieron Pollard came to the crease. Miller was in an aggressive mood and launched a fierce attack on the United bowlers, hitting three consecutive sixes off Shadab Khan in the 15th over. Pollard joined the party, smashing Rumman Raees for a six and a four in the 17th over before Miller finally fell for a quickfire 52 off 25 balls. Pollard finished off the innings with a flurry of boundaries and took the Sultans to a daunting total of 190-4.
In reply, United lost their opening batsman Paul Stirling early, but Hasan Nawaz showed great promise with an enterprising knock of 21 off 12 balls. Rassie van der Dussen and Colin Munro then built a solid partnership, taking the score to 90-2 in the 11th over. But then Usama Mir struck, dismissing Munro and Shadab Khan in quick succession to leave United reeling at 90-4. The Sultans then tightened the screws, with Abbas Afridi and Ihsanullah taking wickets at regular intervals. Azam Khan played a brief cameo, hitting two sixes, but he fell to Abbas Afridi for 15, leaving United at 120-6. The rest of the United batting line-up crumbled under pressure, and they were eventually bowled out for 138 in the 18th over.
The victory was the Sultans’ third in a row, following their opening-match defeat to the Lahore Qalandars. The United team, on the other hand, suffered their first loss of the tournament after a comprehensive win over the Karachi Kings in their previous game.
The Multan Sultans will be buoyed by their performance and will look to continue their winning run when they take on the Quetta Gladiators in their next match. United, on the other hand, will have to regroup quickly and find a way to bounce back when they face the Peshawar Zalmi in their next game.
Overall, the match was a thrilling contest between two strong teams, with some excellent performances from both sides. David Miller’s explosive knock was undoubtedly the highlight of the game, but Usama Mir’s match-turning over was equally impressive. The Multan Sultans will be hoping to carry this form into the rest of the tournament, while United will be looking to put this defeat behind them and come back stronger in their next game.