ABU DHABI, Jun 21 (APP): Three-fer from Sohail Tanvir and Blessing Muzarabani and a belligerent half-century from Sohaib Maqsood guided Multan Sultans to their first-ever final of the HBL Pakistan Super League.
Islamabad United were dismissed for 149 in 19 overs to hand Sultans 31-run win in the Qualifier, played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Monday evening.
Sultans, who made their first appearance in the HBL PSL playoffs last year but were knocked out after losing to Karachi Kings in the Qualifier and to Lahore Qalandars in the Eliminator, made sure they did not make any mistakes this time around.
United – 2016 and 2018 winners – will have another chance of progressing to the final as they play the winner of the Eliminator 1 in the Eliminator 2 on Tuesday evening.
In their pursuit of 181, United lost three wickets inside three overs – two to Sohail, who accounted for Colin Munro (zero off one) and Shadab Khan (zero off three).
United were reeling at 61 for five in the 10th over before in-form Usman Khawaja was joined by Hussain Talat. The pair contributed 50 off 28 for the sixth-wicket before Sohail – who was brought in for his final over in the 15th over took prized wicket of Usman.
Usman top-scored with a 40-ball 70, striking nine fours and a six.
Zimbabwe international Muzarabani accounted for Iftikhar Ahmed (16 off 15, two fours), Hussain Talat (25 off 25, two fours) and Faheem Ashraf (zero off three) and ended up with three for 31.
The left-arm fast Sohail ended-up with figures of three for 17.
Earlier, after opting to bat first, Sultans scored 180 for five on the back of Sohaib’s fourth HBL PSL 6 half-century. The right-handed hard-hitting batsman top-scored for his team with 59 off 41, smashing seven fours and three sixes.
He stitched a 63-run partnership with Johnson Charles (41 off 21, three fours, three sixes) for the fourth-wicket after Sultans had lost Shan Masood (25 off 22, four fours) and Rilee Rossouw (zero off two balls) in the eighth over to Shadab. Captain Mohammad Rizwan had earlier perished for a duck in the second over of the innings.
Khushdil Shah (42 not out off 22, five sixes) struck four sixes in the 19th over of the innings which helped Sultans post a formidable score on the board. He knitted an unbeaten 43-run partnership for the sixth-wicket with Sohail (12 not out off nine, one four).
For United, Faheem Ashraf and Shadab took two wickets apiece.
Scores in brief:
Qualifier – Multan Sultans beat Islamabad United by 31 runs
Multan Sultans 180-5, 20 overs (Sohaib Maqsood 59, Khushdil Shah 42 not out, Johnson Charles 41; Shadab Khan 2-25, Faheem Ashraf 2-35)
Islamabad United 149 all out, 19 overs (Usman Khawaja 70, Hussain Talat 25; Sohail Tanvir 3-17, Blessing Muzarabani 3-31, Imran Tahir 2-29)
Player of the match – Sohail Tanvir (Multan Sultans).