Lahore Qalandars won the back-to-back Pakistan Super League title by beating Multan Sultans by just one run in a thrilling final on Saturday.
With Multan needing four runs off the last ball, bowled by Zaman Khan, Khusdil Shah ran out as he attempted a third run which would have leveled Lahore’s aggregate at 200-6.
Instead, Multan went 199-8 to see them lose to Lahore again in a repeat of last year’s final. The Qalanders are the first team in PSL history to retain the title.
Captain Shaheen Shah Afridi was influential throughout, securing Man of the Match honors after crushing five sixes and two limits in a belligerent 44 not out from just 15 balls in the back of Lahore’s innings, and then bowler of left-arm pace following that with four wickets in the final overs to finish with figures of 4-51.
Shaheen’s early efforts with the bat helped catapult Lahore to what turned out to be a match-winning score. As he came to the crease, the Qalanders were reeling at 111-4 after a four-wicket run for 17 runs in the space of three overs – Kent and England’s Sam Billings between them, out for nine.
But Shaheen and Abdullah Shafique, who anchored the innings magnificently with 65 from 40 balls, proceeded to loot a staggering 85 runs in the last five overs to fire Lahore up to 200.
In response, Rilee Rossouw (52 of 32 balls) hit fifty to keep Multan on top of the required run rate, and though Mohammad Rizwan (34 of 23), Kieron Pollard (19 of 16) and Tim David (20 of 16) had his moments, a steady stream of wickets made things increasingly difficult for the Sultans – Afghan player Rashid Khan stepped in at 2-26.
That was until Khushdil (25 for 12) and Abbas Afridi (17 for 6) hit fast bowler Haris Rauf for 22 runs in the penultimate over, leaving 13 required from the last six balls.
But Zaman and Lahore ultimately kept their cool in front of 25,000 fans to give the home team victory.