In a nail-biting finale,Lahore Qalandars emerged victorious in the PSL 8 tournament, defeating Multan Sultans by just one run!
This is not just any win, but a historic back-to-back championship win after claiming last year’s title as well.
Lahore Qalandars have once again made history and cemented their place as one of the best teams in the league.
The match began with Lahore Qalandars winning the toss and choosing to bat first.
Mirza Tahir Baig and Fakhar Zaman gave a strong start, scoring 34 runs together in the first three overs.
However, Baig was dismissed by Ihsanullah’s sharp short ball, scoring 30 runs in 18 balls.
But Lahore’s determination did not falter, and Abdullah Shafique stepped up to the challenge, adding a phenomenal 65 runs to the score total from just 40 balls.
But Multan Sultans made a comeback and took some quick wickets after Zaman’s dismissal, with Sam Billings, Ahsan Hafeez, and Sikandar Raza all going back to the pavilion quickly.
Usama Mir claimed three wickets in his first two overs, including the crucial scalps of Zaman, Billings, and Hafeez.
Lahore was struggling, but captain Shaheen Afridi refused to give up and took the attack to Multan’s bowlers with sensational shot-making.
He remained unbeaten on 44 runs in just 15 balls, including two fours and five maximums.
Shaheen’s heroic efforts allowed his team to set a target of 201 runs for Multan Sultans.
During the run-chase, Multan Sultans’ opener Usman Khan was dismissed early by David Wiese in the fourth over of the innings.
Despite the early loss, Multan kept up with the required run-rate, with Rilee Rossouw and Mohammad Rizwan stitching an impressive partnership of 64 runs in 42 balls.
However, Rossouw was cleaned up by Rashid Khan just when he threatened to take the game away from Lahore, scoring 52 runs in just 32 balls.
Rashid struck once again in his last over as Rizwan, 34 off 23, perished while trying to clear the long-on boundary. But it took a brilliant bit of fielding from Wiese to catch the ball, keep his balance, and then flick the ball back in the air as he stepped over the rope before re-establishing himself back inside the boundary to complete the catch.
Shaheen Afridi, who had conceded 34 runs in his first two overs, came back in his second spell to clinch the wicket of the dangerous Kieron Pollard, who had scored 19 runs in 16 balls.
Meanwhile, Anwar Ali and Usama Mir were both dismissed quickly as well by Shaheen Afridi after scoring just 1 and 0, respectively.
Shaheen Afridi managed 4 wickets in total and made it difficult for Multan Sultans to chase the target of 201 runs.
The match was not over yet, as Haris Rauf conceded 22 runs in the penultimate over, ensuring a thrilling finish to the game.
But Zaman Khan held his nerve to get his team over the line in the final over of the match.
Khushdil Shah and Abbas Afridi managed to score 25 and 17 runs, finishing just 1 run short of winning the tournament.
The fans of Lahore Qalandars were overjoyed with the victory, taking to the streets to celebrate their team’s victory.
Social media was abuzz with congratulatory messages, with fans praising the team for their outstanding performance.
The team’s second consecutive championship win is a remarkable achievement, and one that will go down in the history of Pakistani cricket.
Lahore Qalandars 200 for 6 (Shafique 65, Shaheen 44*, Mir 3-24) beat Multan Sultans 199 for 8 (Rossouw 52, Shaheen 4-51, Rashid 2-26) by one run
Usman Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk/c), Rilee Rossouw, Kieron Pollard, Tim David, Khushdil Shah, Anwar Ali, Usama Mir, Abbas Afridi, Sheldon Cottrell and Ihsanullah
Mirza Tahir Baig, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Sam Billings (wk), Ahsan Bhatti, Sikandar Raza, David Wiese, Rashid Khan, Shaheen Afridi (c), Haris Rauf and Zaman Khan