Qalandars beat Sultans to defend PSL title
19 March, 2023
LAHORE - Captain Shaheen Shah Afridi’s heroics helped Lahore Qalandars clinch the HBL Pakistan Super League 2023 glittering trophy after beating Multan Sultans by just 1 run in the nail-biting grand finale here at house-full Gaddafi Stadium on Saturday night.
Chasing the 201-run target, Multan Sultans started well and gathered 41 runs for the first-wicket stand. Wiese provided the first breakthrough to Qalandars, bowling out Usman Khan on 18 off 12 balls. Rilee Rossouw and Muhammad Rizwan then played sensibly and scored 64 off 42 balls. Rashid Khan then provided an important breakthrough, taking the scalp of Rossouw, who hit a fifty (52 off 32) and after that Sultans’ batters kept on losing wickets on regular intervals. Abbas Afridi and Khushdil Shah made the final entertaining and enthralling in penultimate over. Abbas scored 2 runs on the first ball of Zaman Khan and a leg bye single on the second. Khushdil played a dot ball, then scored 2 runs and then smashed a four. On the last ball, four runs were needed but Sultans could score only 2, thus losing the final by just 1 run. Khushdil remained unbeaten on 25 and Abbas Afridi hit 17. Shaheen Afridi clinched 4-51 while Rashid Khan bagged 2-26.
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Earlier, Lahore Qalandars had a good start with Mirza Tahir Baig scoring 14 runs in the first two overs, but he couldn’t prolong his stay at the crease and lost his wicket, scoring 30 off 18 balls. However, Fakhar Zaman and Abdullah Shafiq steadied the innings and added 57 runs for the second-wicket partnership. But things changed when spinner Usama Mir came into the attack and bowled Fakhar Zaman, Sam Billings, and Ahsan Hafeez in quick succession. The wicket of Sikandar Raza also fell soon after, and Qalandars were struggling at 112-5 in 14.1 overs. However, captain Shaheen and Abdullah Shafique played sensibly and added 66 runs for the sixth-wicket partnership. Shaheen also played a brilliant cameo in the end and scored 44 runs off just 15 balls (2 fours and 5 sixes), which helped Lahore Qalandars reach a decent total of 200 runs for the loss of 6 wickets. Multan Sultans’ bowlers did a decent job with Usama Mir being the standout performer, claiming 3-24 runs, while Khushdil Shah, Ihsanullah and Anwar Ali got one wicket each. Lahore Qalandars became the first team to defend the title in the PSL. The victory also helped them receive a prize money of Rs 120 million a glittering trophy while runnersup team, Multan Sultans, pocketed Rs 48 million.
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Ihsanullah of Multan Sultans was awarded the player of the tournament and the best bowler of the tournament, while Muhammad Rizwan (Multan) the best batter and best wicketkeeper, Kieron Pollard (Multan) the best fielder, Abbas Afridi (Multan) the emerging player, and Imad Wasim was awarded the best all-rounder. The spirit of cricket trophy was awarded to Peshawar Zalmi, and the best umpire of PSL 8 was Alex Wharf. Scores in Brief:
LAHORE QALANDARS 200-6
(Abdullah Shafique 65,
Shaheen Afridi 44, Fakhar Zaman 39, Mirza Baig 30; Usama Mir 3-24) beat MULTAN SULTANS
199-8 (Rilee Roossouw
52, Muhammad Rizwan 34,Khushdil Shah 25;
Shaheen Afridi 4-51,
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Rashid Khan 2-26) by 1 run.