PSL leader Multan beats Peshawar with no fans in stadium

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Pakistan Cricket Super League

Pakistani cricket teams practice in an empty National Stadium, ahead of their match in the Pakistan Super League in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, March 13, 2020. The Pakistan Cricket Board decides the Pakistan Super League will go ahead despite the coronavirus outbreak and the withdrawal Friday of 10 foreign players. The vast majority of people recover from the new coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization, most people recover in about two to six weeks, depending on the severity of the illness. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Multan Sultans ensured they will finish on top of the Pakistan Super League table after beating a depleted Peshawar Zalmi by three runs on Friday in an empty stadium.

With the PSL banning spectators because of the coronavirus outbreak, and foreign players returning home, Peshawar had none of its five overseas players available and fell short in its chase at 151-7.

Multan, for which England's James Vince and South Africa's Rilee Rossouw withdrew, struggled to put up 154-6.

Multan opener Zeeshan Ashraf top-scored with 52 off 39 balls, and Khushdil Shah made a brisk 30 off 20 balls at the end.

Peshawar’s Carlos Brathwaite, Liam Livingstone, Liam Dawson, Tom Banton and Lewis Gregory were among 10 foreign players who decided to return home due to fears about border closures.

The absence of overseas players cost Peshawar in the latter half of its run chase once it lost Imam-ul-Haq (56) and Shoaib Malik (30) in successive overs.

Left-arm fast bowler Sohail Tanvir took 3-26 while fast bowler Ali Shafiq, playing his first PSL game, took 2-31.

With its sixth win in nine games, Multan secured top place in the round robin with a game in hand against Lahore Qalandars on Sunday.

Peshawar's hopes of making the semifinals depend on the three remaining league matches.

The Pakistan Cricket Board earlier Friday decided to shorten the PSL by four days, and play all remaining games in empty stadiums in Karachi and Lahore.

Lahore will host both semifinals on Tuesday and the final on Wednesday.

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