Lahore Qalandars book playoff berth
Champions for a reason, as Lahore Qalandars became the first team to secure a playoff spot in the ongoing Pakistan Super League season eight.
The secured the spot after registering a 21-run victory over Multan Sultans at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore.
While chasing the 181-run target, were restricted to 159/7 in their allotted 20 overs.
Mohammad Rizwan and Shan Masood provided them a decent start, scoring 44 runs in the process. However, Masood’s wicket in the seventh over thanks to a brilliant catch by Shaheen Afridi shifted momentum in the favour of Qalandars. The left-hander scored 19 runs in 20 balls.
Sikandar Raza removed Rizwan, who scored 30 runs in 27 balls. Sultans changes tactics by promoting Usama Mir up in the order. He scored quick 17 runs in 11 balls. He was eventually cleaned up by Rashid Khan.
The Afghanistan leg-spinner also dismissed David Miller (1), after another successful review by the Qalandars, in the same over. He finished the spell with figures of 3-15 in four overs.
Kieron Pollard scored 39 runs in 28 balls but that was not enough to get Multan over the line.
Earlier, the home side set a 181-run target thanks to outstanding batting display from Abdullah Shafique and Sam Billings. They finished on 180/9 in their allotted 20 overs.
Abdullah and Tahir Baig kept Qalandars in the driver’s seat after losing Fakhar Zaman (0). They put up a 50-run stand for the second wicket, with stylish stork-maker Abdullah dominated with the bat.
Ihsanullah dismissed Baig in the fifth over of the innings. The right-hander scored 17 runs in 11 balls.
Abdullah continued his rich form with the bat as he made another good batting stand with Billings. However, the 69-run stand was broken when Shafique, 48 runs in 35 balls, was caught and bowled by Kieron Pollard.
Billings was caught in front of the stumps after misjudging a delivery by Pollard. The England International scored 54 off 35 deliveries with the help of six boundaries and two maximums.
Sikandar Raza scored 14 runs, meanwhile David Wiese remained unbeaten on 15 runs.
For Multan, Pollard, Ihsanullah, Abbas Afridi and Anwar Ali claimed two wickets each.