Lahore Qalandars defeated Multan Sultans in the final of the eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) by 1 run to become the first team to clinch back to back titles. In a repeat of the last year’s final at the Gadaffi Stadium in Lahore on Saturday, the Qalandars opted to bat first after winning the toss.
The team also posted a solid first innings total to back the decision of their captain as they scored 200/6 in their quota of 20 overs with Abdullah Shafique top-scoring with 65 off 40 and captain Shaheen Afridi also scoring a game-changing 15-ball 44. Later, Rilee Rossouw’s 52 off 32 and Mohammad Rizwan’s 34 off 23 did make for an interesting chase but Multan couldn’t find the impetus in the end of their innings that someone like Shaheen had provided to the home team.
The left-arm speedster also picked 4 wickets in his last 2 overs, getting rid of Tim David, Kieron Pollard, Anwar Ali and Usama Mir which were massive scalps in the context of the game, helping him finish with the best bowling figures in a PSL final (4/51). Rashid Khan also picked 2 wickets for 26 runs as Qalandars scripted history.
In the end, it turned out to be an absolute thriller of a match. Despite Shaheen’s 18th over where he picked 3 wickets and conceded just 6 runs, Multan Sultans found a way to come back into the match with Khushdil Shah and Abbas Afridi adding 22 runs of the penultimate over bowled by Haris Rauf.
With just 13 needed from 6 deliveries and a relaitively inexperienced Zaman Khan to bowl the final over, the match could have gone any way but Zaman held his nerve as Qalandars won by theb barest of margins by just 1 run. He conceded just 1 boundary and a couple of extra runs on an overthrow from close quarters which made things interesting but in the end Shaheen became the first captain to lift back to back PSL trophies.