Multan Sultans' veteran duo of Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi had to dig deep and use all of their experience to earn their side a five-wicket victory over Islamabad United in a Pakistan Super League 2019 match that was a lot closer than the final scoreline suggests.
After winning the toss and electing to field first, the Sultans restricted the defending champions to a meagre total of 125-7.
With the exception of their Kiwi opener Luke Ronchi (51 off 33 balls), the entire top and middle order of United failed in the face of a balanced bowling performance by the Sultans.
The 126-run target, however, proved a lot difficult to chase than it should have as United, never the one to lay down, fought tooth and nail to make a match out of it.
In the end, the experience of Malik (31* off 29 balls) and Afridi (16* off 8 balls) proved the difference.
Multan Sultans: Shan Masood, Johnson Charles(wk), Laurie Evans, Shoaib Malik(capt), Andre Russell, Shahid Afridi, Hammad Azam, Chris Green, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Ali Shafiq
Islamabad United: Luke Ronchi(wk), Rizwan Hussain, Cameron Delport, Philip Salt, Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Samit Patel, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Sami(capt), Waqas Maqsood