Shoaib Akhtar has backed Peshawar Zalmi to win PSL 2021 when they come up against Multan Sultans in the final on June 24. Akhtar believes if the Peshwar outfit is invited to bat first, they could score 200 or even 250.
The former speedster also believes Peshawar Zalmi could chase any total if the Multan Sultans get to bat first in the marquee clash.
Peshwar Zalmi booked their spot in the finals by defeating league phase table-toppers Islamabad United comfortably in the Eliminator. The Wahab Riaz-led team won the all-important match by eight wickets with 19 balls to spare.
Shoaib Akhtar was impressed with Zalmi's performance and was quoted as saying by cricketpakistan.pk:
"I would like to congratulate Peshawar Zalmi and I think they will be able to beat Multan Sultans. They might wipe the floor with them and if that happens then I think they can win their second PSL title. They can do it. I think this is the side to look out for because if they bat first, they will make around 200, they could even make 250. If they chase then they do it easily as well."
Peshawar Zalmi opener Hazratullah Zazai made a star turn against the Islamabad side in the Eliminator, scoring 66 off 44 balls.
He was backed up brilliantly by Jonathan Wells (55* off 43) and Shoaib Malik (32* off10), who helped the team win the knockout game at a canter.
"Franchises are a business, and you have to run it that way"- Shoaib Akhtar praises Peshawar Zalmi's team management
Shoaib Akhtar also highlighted the positive impact of Peshwar Zalmi's team management and their ability to define roles for their players.
Akhtar added that Peshawar Zalmi has managed to get the best out of their players due to their smart decision making.
"Smart and serious management will pick good players during the auction and will put pressure on them in a good way. Franchises are a business and you have to run it that way. The reason why I say this is because when you pay a player you demand certain things. You demand a particular type of cricket from your players. Once you have a cut-for-a-role type of player such as [Jonathan] Wells, who made a fifty and plays for Adelaide, he performed even though he is not a big hitter of the ball."
During the league phase, both Multan Sultans and Peshawar Zalmi won one game against each other. Overall, they are tied for the head-to-head record, with both sides winning four games each in eight clashes.