Multan’s defeat last night against Islamabad United curbs Sultan’s chances for further advancement. Despite of Pollard’s heroics, United managed to suppress the debutants and qualified for the knockout stage alongside Quetta Gladiators.
Lahore Qalandars, who are already out of the contention, pose a big threat to Zalmi, in case if they beat them on Friday. Zalmi needs to beat Kings and Qalandars in both of its consecutive matches on Thursday and Friday. And if Kings beat Zalmi tomorrow, then they will be through to join United and Gladiators. Sultans would like Qalandars to beat Zalmi on Friday to help them qualify. However, Multan doesn’t have any more opportunities left and their survival depends on the results of Zalmi’s and Kings’ remaining matches in the tournament. On the other hand, Karachi needs to score as many runs as possible to get a chance if teams end up with equal points and qualification has to be decided on run rate.
So more drama, suspense and excitement along with fierce battle for playoffs is expected as all three teams Zalmi, Kings and Sultans reach a do or die situation.
Sultan’s had a disappointing match last night. They sent Islamabad to bat first. The United team set a mammoth total 186 runs for Multan as Misbah-ul-Haq’s boys did excellent work, particularly in-form Ronchi contributed a brilliant 58 and struck three towering sixes and six fours in his 36-ball brief innings. Alex Hales made 46 of 33 balls and Hussain Talat scored 36 of 21. Multan Sultan’s responded terribly. They lost almost half of the team in first 50 runs. Only Pollard resisted United’s dominance with his brilliant stroke play. He scored 73 of 47 deliveries.
The match between Gladiators and Qalandars tonight won’t affect either teams drastically or the aspirant trio but Qalandars would definitely look for more consolation.