MULTAN, Pakistan (Associated Press) — Unheralded fast bowler Ihsanullah took 5-12 and Rilee Rossouw hammered a quick 78 as the Multan Sultans defeated the Quetta Gladiators by nine wickets in the Pakistan Super League on Wednesday.
Ihsanullah, 20, frequently plagued Quetta’s top-order hitters, clocking over 145kph as the 2019 champions were bowled out for 110 in 18.5 overs in their season opener.
Multan then stormed to its first win in the tournament, reaching 111-1 with more than six overs to spare, thanks to Rossouw’s undefeated half-century.
South Africa lead the run-chase with nine fours and three sixes off 42 balls, while captain Mohammad Rizwan remained undefeated on 28. Shan Masood was caught leg before wicket by Sri Lankan Nuwan Thushara, but Rossouw led the attack with his aggressive batting in an undefeated century stand with Rizwan.
Multan’s star fast bowler Shahnawaz Dhani has been knocked out of the competition after suffering a finger injury in Monday’s one-run loss to the Lahore Qalandars.
Abbas Afridi, who replaced Dhani in the playing XI, took 2-27, while paceman Sameen Gul concluded with 2-20 as Quetta’s batters had no response for Multan’s pace.
Ihsanullah, who is in his second PSL season, utilised his quick pace and bounce after Rizwan won the toss and chose to field for the second consecutive home game.
Quetta has signed a new contract. Martin Guptill of New Zealand was out for seven in the second over due to a poor draw shot, while Ihsanullah sliced through the long batting order by clean bowled Sarfaraz Ahmed not long after dropping the Quetta skipper at short fine-leg.
Then, with a delivery that nipped back sharply into the right-hander, Ihsanullah had top-scorer Jason Roy (27) caught at mid-off and trapped Iftikhar Ahmed leg before wicket for a golden duck.
When Quetta was reduced to 68-8, Pakistan leg-spinner Usama Mir had Mohammad Nawaz leg before wicket and then Ihsanullah got a thick outside edge of Umar Akmal’s bat off another brilliant short delivery before striking the top of Naseem Shah’s off stump.
For Quetta, Mohammad Hafeez hit 18 and Mohammad Hasnain hit 22 from 20 balls before being caught behind, giving Rizwan three catches behind the stumps.
Islamabad United, a two-time champion, kicks off their season against the Karachi Kings on Thursday.