After seven T20 matches in the fifth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) have been played at Karachi and Lahore, now the tournament is being shifted to Multan and Rawalpindi where seven matches will be played from February 26 to March 2.
Multan is hosting its first ever match in the PSL history today (Wednesday) when Multan Sultans face Peshawar Zalmi. This is the eighth match of the tournament and it will be played day/night (at 7-00 pm).
Peshawar Zalmi have appeared in all the four previous editions of the PSL and hold a good record with one time winners (2017) and two time runners-up (2018 and 2019) while they came third in 2016.
On the other hand, Multan Sultans are playing for the third time in the PSL since 2018, and they were placed fifth position in their both the appearances in 2018 and 2019.
In the current edition, Multan Sultans and Peshawar Zalmi, both have earned two points with one victory and one defeat from two matches each.
Multan won their first match against Lahore Qalandars by five wickets at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on February 21 and later lost their second match to Islamabad United by eight wickets on February 22 at the same venue.
Peshawar Zalmi were beaten by Karachi Kings in their first match by 10 runs on February 21 at the National Stadium, Karachi and later emerged victorious by six wickets against defending champions Quetta Gladiators at the same venue on February 22.
Both Multan and Peshawar are looking good sides but the latter one has an edge over the former not only on the basis of their past performances but the Zalmi have more experienced players. Their captain, West Indian all rounder Darren Sammy, is the most familiar personality for Pakistani cricket lovers as he has been playing and leading the Zalmi also in the past editions.
Besides, the Peshawar Zalmi have a fine blend of youth and experience, national and international, and local and foreign players.
All rounder Shoaib Malik and wicket keeper-batsman Kamran Akmal are their most experienced players and in their late thirties they are still in their excellent form and fitness.
They have also acquired the services of West Indian all rounders Carlos Brathwaite, Kieron Pollard and Liam Dawson, and England batsmen Liam Livingstone, Tom Banton and Lewis Gregory.
Among Pakistan’s talented cricketers, there are left-arm fast bowlers Wahab Riaz and Rahat Ali, right-arm pacer Hasan Ali, and top-order batsmen Imam-ul-Haq and Umar Amin.
Multan Sultans are being led by opening batsman Shan Masood and the side has star all rounder Shahid Afridi, who has retired but still he has a lot to give.
Besides, England all rounder Moeen Ali, batsmen Ravi Bopara, James Vince and Rilee Rossouw, and off-spinner Wayne Madsen, and South Africa’s leg-spinner Imran Tahir are also there to strengthen the side.
Among Pakistan players, there are pacers Mohammad Irfan, Sohail Tanvir, Junaid Khan, Bilawal Bhatti, and spinners Usman Qadir and Zeeshan Ashraf, and young wicketkeeper-batsman Rohail Nazir.
However, it is hope that the Multan people would watch an exciting cricket at their own ground.