The Report by Deivarayan Muthu

Multan Sultans 126 for 5 (Malik 31*, Shadab 2-20) beat Islamabad United 125 for 7 (Ronchi 51, Shafiq 2-11, Afridi 2-18) by five wickets

How the game played out

Shahid Afridi rolled back the years and produced a vintage all-round performance to headline Multan Sultans' first win in PSL 2019. On a tired Dubai pitch, he unfurled all his tricks with the ball - the legbreak, googly, topspinner, flipper and even the seam-up variety - to come away with 2 for 18 in his four overs. Twenty-two-year-old seamer Ali Shafiq also impressed with 2 for 11 as Islamabad United cobbled out a mere 125 for 7 in their 20 overs.

Multan's batsmen then threatened to make heavy weather of the chase, but Afridi's dash (16* off 8 balls) and captain Shoaib Malik's calm (31 not out off 29 balls) ushered the side home. With his family in the stands, Afridi provided a blockbuster finish, with back-to-back sixes off seamer Waqas Masood in the penultimate over.

Turning points

Luke Ronchi greeted Afridi's bowling with a pulled six and then hit Andre Russell out of the attack with 6,6,4. During the process, he reached a 31-ball fifty and by then Islamabad were 57 for 2 in the eighth over. In his next over, Afridi generated some overspin and had Ronchi splicing a slog-sweep to deep square leg. Two balls later, he was at it in the infield, pulling off a sharp, low catch at short midwicket to dismiss Hussain Talat for 7 off 12 balls.

Shafiq did not concede a single boundary in his four overs and burst through the gate of Shadab Khan, who had been promoted to No. 6. There would be no way back for Islamabad.

Star of the day

Afridi (who else?) After claiming the key wicket of Ronchi, he bowled Philip Salt with a quick fizzer. How dare you attempt to scoop Afridi over the keeper's head? He could have got another wicket had he hung onto to a fairly regulation return catch when Samit Patel scooped a legbreak back to him in his last over.

Afridi then walked into bat in the chase, with Multan needing 25 off 21 balls. He hit 16 of those, including the back-to-back sixes that sealed victory.

The big miss

Waqas nipped out opener Johnson Charles with a good-length ball that seamed away just enough, but that good length turned out to be bad length in the end overs. Andre Russell tore him into shreds, taking 15 off four balls from him, including a six into the top tier over wide long-on.

Where the teams stand

Islamabad slid from first to fourth, while Multan leapfrogged them to third. Quetta Gladiators, Karachi Kings, Multan and Islamabad all have two points each, with only the run rate separating them.