The group stage of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) edition five is finally completed. It took 30 matches to decide the final-four teams of the competition.
After having a fantastic outing in the group stage, the Sultans of Multan are finally ready to play their first ever semi-final in the history of the PSL. On the other hand, the Zalmis are no strangers to knockout games as they have been involved in the previous three finals of the tournament.
Peshawar Zalmi journey:
Having won the competition in 2017, the Peshawar based franchise was jolted with the departure of their key foreign players just before their last group stage encounter. They lost their last group-stage match to Multan after failing to chase a modest target of 155.
Once again, the men in yellow are going to face the team from South Punjab in the first semi-final at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
The Zalmis had lost their first game of the competition against the Karachi Kings before making a terrific comeback against the Gladiators in their 2nd game of the tournament.
In their next two matches, they lost to Multan and won against the Qalandars to stay alive in the race to playoffs. Their fifth match of the competition against Islamabad United was rained out and they earned one point from that match.
The Karachi Kings once again toppled them in their next clash but they made a noteworthy comeback in the competition by beating the Gladiators by 30 runs in their next quarrel. The Wahab Riaz-led franchise picked momentum at the right time in the competition when they won two back to back games against Islamabad and Lahore.
Despite losing their last match, they managed to qualify due to respective Lahore & Karachi victories.
The Zalmis have been relying heavily on their bowling line up to deliver as they have the most successful pace-duo in the history of the PSL. Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali are the two most successful bowlers in the history of the league.
Their all foreign players including Tom Banton, Liam Dawson, Liam Livingstone, Carlos Brathwaite and Lewis Gregory have already left the camp, it would be really exciting to see what sort of playing XI comes up against the Sultans in the semi-final.
Multan Sultans journey:
The Multan Sultans have had a great tournament so far as they emerged victorious in four of their first five matches. Two of their matches were washed out and they lost only two matches against Islamabad and Lahore.
They started off dominantly by and stamped their authority straightway in the PSL 2020. Shan Masood has been leading them amazingly well and he has been spot on with his decision making and strategies during the game.
We have seen teams dominating in the group stage and choking in the knockout matches and the Sultans will surely try to avoid that situation. The Sultans of Multan have been pretty decent in their performances so far and their success truly mirrors the rewards of team effort.
At the start of the tournament, Shan Masood, Rilee Rossouw and Moeen Ali combined with the other experienced campaigners like Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Irfan, Shahid Afridi and Imran Tahir to play a pivotal role in taking Sultans to the table-top.
The absence of James Vince and Rilee Rossouw will surely hurt the chances of Multan but, they will bank on the experience of Moeen Ali and Ravi Bopara who are still available for them.
It has been an amazing tournament so far and both of these teams are surely going to try every trick in their pocket when they meet in the much-anticipated semi-final on Tuesday.
Multan Sultans Probable Playing XI:
Zeeshan Ashraf, Moeen Ali, Shan Masood (C), Ravi Bopara, Khushdil Shah, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan/Bilawal Bhatti, Imran Tahir, Mohammad Ilyas.
Peshawar Zalmi Probable Playing XI:
Kamran Akmal, Imam-ul-Haq, Umar Amin, Haider Ali, Shoaib Malik, Adil Amin, Wahab Riaz, Hammad Azam, Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali/Yasir Shah, Amir Khan