Multan Sultans 244 for 6 (Rossouw 121, Pollard 52, Omarzai 2-62) beat Peshawar Zalmi 242 for 6 (Babar 73, Ayub 58, Abbas Afridi 4-39) by four wickets
Rilee Rossouw brought jaws – and PSL records – down with an unbridled display of power-hitting, turning a chase of 243 into a cakewalk. Along the way, he made the joint-fastest fifty of the tournament, converted it into its fastest ever hundred – going past himself – and pushed the Multan Sultans into the PSL playoffs.
Peshawar Zalmi – still not sure of their place in those playoffs – have now lost two straight matches despite posting 240 and more on the board. They were ambushed by Jason Roy a few nights ago and now it was Rossouw’s turn as the South African powerhouse clattered eight sixes and 12 fours to mastermind the second-highest chase in all of T20 history, with five balls to spare.
The longest Rossouw went between boundaries in his innings was six balls. His first five scoring shots were all fours or sixes. And he kept going. By 17 deliveries faced, he had a fifty to his name. He only ran two of those runs. T-w-o. That detour into English county cricket via Kolpak had taken one of the biggest and brightest stars in South Africa away from the spotlight. But he’s back now and he’s got numbers that are scarcely believable. Over 297 T20s, he’s maintained an average over 30 and a strike rate over 140. Some of the other people who’ve managed to do that are Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, David Warner and AB de Villiers.
Rossouw had a strong support cast helping him. Pollard chipped in with 52 off just 24 balls. Their third-wicket partnership – 99 off 43 balls – formed the bedrock of this chase. A little while earlier, when Sultans were bowling, 21-year old seamer Abbas Afridi, picked up 4 for 39. Three of those wickets came in the space of nine deliveries where he gave away only eight runs. In a game where where they were scored at the rate of two a ball, that was noteworthy.
So too were Babar Azam (73 off 39) and Saim Ayub’s (58 off 33) fifties. Zalmi’s two openers were incredibly fluent at the start of the game, setting up such a strong platform that they could keep hitting despite the speed bumps that Afridi’s spell had put in front of them. At the halfway point, they would’ve felt fairly pleased with their work. The rest is now history.
Rilee RossouwMultan SultansPeshawar ZalmiPakistanZalmi vs SultansPakistan Super League