After holding back an in-form Peshawar Zalmi side in the final, Multan Sultans were more than elated to get their hands on the Pakistan Super League trophy (PSL) for the first time.
They scored a staggering 206/4 in the final whereas Peshawar finished at 159/9.
Muhammad Rizwan, who spent most of his time warming the bench in last season at Karachi Kings, led the Sultans to glory.
Being only the second man to score 500 runs in a single season, Rizwan’s form was crucial in terms of Multan’s success. He also earned the Best Keeper of the Tournament award.
In the post-game interview, Rizwan started off by crediting God, then team managers for taking the team to the top after a bad start to the season.
He said: “Finals are pressure games – you can’t avoid that in the final. We discussed that and brought it down to two things – it would either be the pressure of batting first or batting second. So it began like that, the pressure of playing out the new ball, and then we took it from there. When you go for the win, you need to ignore the noise. With Maqsood we felt he wasn’t getting enough of a hit and then we decided to push him up and it’s paid off. And our bowlers have been fantastic throughout.”
On the flip side, Zalmi skipper Wahab Riaz showed pride in his team despite losing in the final. He was of the view that Peshawar players were above par in throughout the entire competition, but the better side on the day took home the title.
“I think the decision to bowl first was fine – we’ve been saying from the start that we leak runs in the back end, and that’s why we bowled. But our collective efforts of our team have been great, particularly rushing back here for the second leg. Whether we’ve won or lost, we’ve done it as a team. No blame games,” Riaz remarked.
“We’ve seen some good young bowlers in this tournament – guys like Dahani, Imran – should be given a lot of domestic experience so they get much better under pressure in the next few years.”
Sohaib Maqsood was declared Man of the Tournament as well as Player of the Match for his unbeaten 65 in the final.
The middle-order star has also been called up for the national side for Pakistan’s coming T20I series against England and West Indies.
Speaking to media after the game, Maqsood said that he was brimming with confidence in the PSL because of good outings in the domestic season.
“I’d taken a break from red-ball cricket for a year and worked on my skills. I was given responsibility as well, which helped. But it mostly came down to my form,” the Sultans players said.
“I don’t want to do anything different – if I get a chance, I’ll play with the same kind of mindset and aggression. Credit to the captain and management here who said it doesn’t matter if I fail and that I should play my game.”