Multan sultans outplayed Quetta Gladiators, wins by 9 wickets.
Ihsanullah decimated the Quetta Gladiators batting order to lead Multan Sultans to a crushing nine-wicket victory on Wednesday at the Multan Cricket Stadium, solidifying their return in the HBL Pakistan Super League 8.
With 16 of his 24 deliveries being dots, Ihsanullah’s exceptional pace bowling earned him remarkable figures of five for 12 in four overs. In the 2018 season of the competition, Umar Gul’s six for 24 against the same opposition is the best bowling performance by a Multan Sultans player.
The right-arm fastballer, who was 20 years old, was exceptionally quick and frequently hit the decent length, leaving the batters unsure of whether to commit on the front or back foot. He had all five wickets in 16 balls thanks to his terrifying bowling.
Ihsanullah, who is from Khyber Agency in northwest Pakistan, joined the HBL PSL 8 with strong form. The fast bowler, who took 25 wickets in 11 matches at an average just below 20, was the greatest fast bowler in the Pakistan Cup 2022–23 (and second best overall).
Martin Guptill was bowled out by Sameen Gul in the second over, while Abdul Wahid Bangalzai was taken out by Abbas Afridi in the fifth, giving Quetta Gladiators a bad start. Ihsanullah was brought, and in his first over, the sixth of the innings, he bowled Sarfaraz Ahmed, compounding their problems.
The highlight of the game occurred in the eighth over when Jason Roy, who had scored the most runs in the innings with 27 off 18 balls, and Iftikhar Ahmed were both dismissed by Ihsanullah on consecutive deliveries, leaving the visitors at a dangerous 46 for five.
A 20-run partnership between Mohammad Nawaz and Umar Akmal in 4.3 overs attempted to calm the situation, but when the former was caught LBW by Usama Mir’s leg-spin, who was the best bowler in the aforementioned Pakistan Cup and recently made his Pakistani debut in the ODI series against New Zealand, the floodgates once more opened.
The following ball, the first of the thirteenth, Ihsanullah had Umar returning to the pavilion, and three balls later, he rocked Naseem Shah’s stumps to achieve his first five-fer in the format.
Quetta Gladiators could only muster 110 runs before being dismissed with seven balls remaining. Mohammad Hasnain scored 22, which was their second-best total, and Sameen and Abbas each claimed two wickets.
The home team’s run chase turned out to be a piece of cake as they finished in just 13.3 overs. Nuwan Thushara struck Shan Masood in the pads in front of the stumps at the beginning of the second over, but after that, things went smoothly for Multan Sultans.
In the fourth over, Rilee Rossouw, who was playing his first game of the year, ended the game by hitting Thushara for four straight fours. In a 108-run unbeaten partnership with Multan Sultans captain Mohammad Rizwan, he reached his seventh HBL PSL half-century and finished with 78 not out off 42.