Dubai: Kieron Pollard and Umar Amin cracked unbeaten half-centuries to steer Peshawar Zalmi to a seven-wicket win over Multan Sultans in the 19th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) at Dubai International Stadium on Thursday.
Pollard, who escaped being caught on 14 by Johnson Charles, made Multan pay the price for the lapse and cracked an unbeaten 52 off just 27 balls with five sixes and a lone boundary.
Amin remained unconquered on 54 off 37 balls with five boundaries.
Together they put on an unbeaten 91 runs off 7.5 overs to take their team to the target of 173 with four balls to spare.
The win lifted Peshawar to the top of the table with four victories from six matches.
Multan had posted an impressive 172-5 through Charles’ 57 off 31 balls — with eight boundaries and a six — and James Vince’s 41 off 38 with two boundaries and two sixes.
Skipper Shoaib Malek chipped in with an unbeaten 28 off 21 balls but all their efforts went in vain.
It was a smooth start for Multan, who were put into bat by Peshawar.
The opening pair of Umar Siddiq and Vince put on 38 runs in the first 3.5 overs before Siddiq was caught behind off Umaid Asif for 18.
It was a sweet revenge from Asif as he was hit for two sixes in that over by Siddiq.
Charles, who joined Vince, went for his shots right away. He hit Wahab Riaz for four consecutive boundaries in the sixth over.
Ibtisam Shaikh and Pollard bowled two tight overs, giving away only five runs, but in the ninth over Charles hit Shaikh for a six and a boundary. At the halfway mark, Multan were at a commanding 90-1.
Charles raced to his half-century in 26 balls and steered the team past the 100-run mark by pulling Riaz for a boundary to midwicket.
Charles quick knock came to an end in the 13th over when Dawson bowled him with his slow left-arm spin.
Vince and Charles had put on 76 runs for the second wicket in just nine overs.
Malek joined Vince and took the score to 122 when Imam-ul-Haq ran Vince out through a direct throw from midwicket. Malek took charge and hit Hasan Ali for two sixes, one over long off and another straight.
Multans went past the 150-run mark in 17.2 overs. Daniel Christian joined Malek and put on 43 runs in four overs when Hasan clean bowled Christian for 18.
Next man Shahid Afridi lasted only five balls to score one run before being run out by Riaz while going for a quick single.
Peshawar had a new opening pair in Andre Fletcher and Ul-Haq. Fletcher began by hitting Mohammad Irfan for a straight six.
Runs flowed at a brisk pace but in the fourth over Mohammad Irfan had Fletcher caught by Christian at mid-off for 24. The pair had put on 34 runs in 3.2 overs. Kamran Akmal, who was failing as opener, also failed at No. 1 slot when he was bowled by Mohammad Ilyas for no score.
Amin joined Imam and Peshawar went past the 50-run mark in 7.2 overs. The pair put on 50 runs in 6.5 overs when Afridi struck and had Imam stumped by wicketkeeper Tom Moores for 39.
Kieron Pollard hit the second ball he faced from Afridi for a six over long off. Umar too picked the gaps and in the last five overs Peshawar needed 58 runs. Pollard on 14, pulled Irfan to Johnson but to the surprise of everyone the ball bounced out of his hands. With 35 runs needed off the last 18 balls, Pollard hit Daniel Christian for three consecutive sixes to take the game away from Multan’s hands.
Peshawar Zalmi bt Multan Sultans by 7 wkts
Multan Sultans 172-5 (20 overs): Vince 41, Charles 57; Asif 1-31
Peshawar Zalmi 176-3 (19.2 overs): Amin 54n.o, Pollard 52n.o; Afridi 1-9