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HomeSportsCricketShaheen and Zaman the heroes as Lahore Qalandars defend PSL title

Shaheen and Zaman the heroes as Lahore Qalandars defend PSL title

Lahore Qalandars 200 for six (Shafique 65, Shaheen 44*, Mir 3-24) beat Multan Sultans 199 for 8 (Rossouw 52, Shaheen 4-51, Rashid 2-26) by one run

The PSL ends because it begun. A medical Lahore Qalandars produced a stone-cold death-bowling efficiency to pip Multan Sultans by one run, simply as they did to kick off this season 4 weeks earlier. The closest PSL closing there’s ever been got here right down to the ultimate ball, with Sultans needing 4 to wrench the title away from Qalandars. In the tip, a heroic Khushdil Shah was run-out diving to finish the third on the non-striker’s finish, and the Qalandars’ title defence was full.
It all feels prefer it’s come full circle; these two sides, in any case, performed the previous season’s final too, which threw up the identical consequence. But for Qalandars, this can be a outstanding turnaround, a aspect that was a laughing inventory for the primary half of this league’s historical past. They have now grow to be the undisputed dominant pressure within the PSL, changing into the primary aspect to retain the title.
But all of that’s secondary to the drama and insanity of the ultimate over, the ultimate ball. The first sport this season had boiled right down to Zaman Khan bowling to Khushdil, with the Sultans needing 4 for victory, and ending up one run shy. Today, as Zaman bowled the match’s closing ball to Khushdil, the Sultans wanted 4. But there was a yorker, a scuffed squeeze into the on aspect, a determined scramble to steal an additional run, a run-out. And then there was bedlam.
Qalandars seemed to have edged Sultans out by the point the ultimate two overs rolled round. Their death-bowling machine had clicked into gear; Shaheen Shah Afridi, Zaman and Haris Rauf had begun to asphyxiate Sultans. Tim David, Kieron Pollard and Anwar Ali fell within the three previous overs, and with 35 required within the final 12 balls, Sultans appeared to have run out of highway.

But Khushdil and Abbas Afridi capitalised on a uncommon wayward loss of life over from Rauf to plunder 22, organising a grandstand end with 13 wanted off the ultimate six balls. Zaman’s wily tempo variations gave Sultans nothing till the ultimate two balls, however a comical pair of byes after Zaman missed the possibility to run Khushdil out from three yards out meant the hazard man was on strike to pummel the penultimate ball away for 4. But Zaman nailed his size as soon as extra, and Sultans ended up simply quick.

An age in the past, Qalandars had gained the toss and unsurprisingly opted to bat, with Mirza Baig flying out of the blocks. But Fakhar Zaman on the different finish was unusually subdued, eschewing the standard flamboyance for an abundance of warning. When he top-edged one to Usama Mir, he had scored 39 off 34; by no means in PSL historical past has he had a decrease strike fee for an innings the place he scored no less than 30 runs.

But Usama was solely simply getting began with the wickets. On a floor the place he abruptly discovered grip and bounce, he burst by way of Sam Billings’ defences his subsequent over, earlier than Ahsan Hafeez was trapped in entrance for a golden duck. Sensing the efficiency of spin, Rizwan gave Khushdil one other over, and he duly cleaned up Sikandar Raza along with his first ball, leaving Qalandars tottering at 112 for five.

David Wiese was on the point of cost out, solely to lookup and located Shaheen had pulled rank and was already midway to the batting crease. Over a decisive, momentum shifting closing few overs, he demonstrated why. Bolstering a fame he has unexpectedly accrued as a middle-order power-hitter, he bludgeoned an unbeaten 44 off 15 deliveries as Qalandars amassed 85 runs within the closing 5 overs. A takedown of Ihsanullah within the seventeenth over was notably notable, the 24 that got here off it setting Qalandars up for the massive end they might obtain. He was assisted by some notably abnormal bowling as Sultans crumpled within the face of the onslaught, the distinction in loss of life bowling between the 2 sides proving essential to the ultimate consequence.

But the best way Sultans began, it needn’t have gone right down to the wire. Mohammad Rizwan knew an innings of accumulation would not do at the moment, and flew off the mark, smashing 4 boundaries of his first seven balls to set the tone, together with a chastening takedown of Shaheen within the third over that produced 20 runs. When Wiese uprooted Usman Khan’s stumps, Rizwan was more than pleased to show over power-hitting duty to Rilee Rossouw.
The South African is PSL royalty by now, and was joyful to oblige. He underscored his high quality by taking over Zaman, exploiting both aspect sq. of the wicket to crunch three boundaries off the fifth over, earlier than serving to plunder 16 off Wiese instantly afterwards. Rauf wasn’t spared, both, his first two balls hammered for 4 and 6 as Sultans stayed nicely forward of the speed. A drive off Rashid Khan introduced up a 30-ball half-century; Sultans had stormed to 105 for 1 by now, with half the innings to go.

But Rashid wasn’t to be saved down, and as one saved low to sneak by way of the South African’s defences, Sultans nerves started to fray. Rossouw did not respect the Afghan’s send-off and pressure crept again into the sport. A surprising effort on the boundary from Wiese transformed what ought to have been six into the dismissal of Rizwan, Qalandars had been furtively dragging the asking fee again up.

David and Pollard ought to have been well-placed to right that, however leaving an excessive amount of for the ultimate overs in opposition to a bowling assault of Qalandars’ high quality had bitten Sultans earlier than. Pollard miscued Shaheen straight up into the air earlier than Qalandars’ captain returned to take away David, Anwar and Mir all in the identical over, and an asking fee that hovered round 11 simply 4 overs in the past was up in extra of 17 now.

Khushdil and Afridi would practically pull it off, however ultimately, in a contest that went right down to the barest of margins, Qalandars, and a partisan house crowd, would get their method. Players from each side sunk to their knees whereas fireworks erupted above. The PSL trophy’s vacation spot was determined. It was going nowhere in any case.



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