Ashraf Ali Siddiqui describes an enthralling match
Lahore Qalandars win PSL has become a hugely followed T-20 tournament in Pakistan and has provided much needed entertainment to the people. This year’s final was played between two good teams: Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans. Lahore Qalandars put up a clinical performance to defeat Multan Sultans by 42 runs and bag their first Pakistan Super League (PSL) title. It was a night to remember for Lahore fans as their beloved Qalandars erased the pain of years of failure to finally bag their maiden Pakistan Super League title. Although Lahore Qalandars win PSL had handed Multan a stiff 181-run target, they were still required to be at their best both with the ball as well as in the field and they succeeded in doing precisely that.
Once again skipper Lahore Qalandars win PSL Shaheen Shah Afridi deployed Mohammad Hafeez early and he did not disappoint as he removed the in-form Mohammad Rizwan for 14 runs with the score of 36 runs in four overs. Fakhar failed with the bat but was very alert in the field as he ran out Shan Masood with a brilliant direct-hit and also took a catch of Aamer Azmat to reduce Multan to 46-3. Asif Afridi was removed four runs later, and the dangerous Rilee Rossow was sent back for 15 by young pacer Zaman Khan as Multan batters were falling like a pack of cards.
Khushdil Shah and Tim David smashed some boundaries but they had a huge task against a world-class bowling attack of Lahore. Willey, Tahir, Rumman were removed very quickly as Tahir was the last man to go when Rauf took a catch and the entire Gaddafi Stadium erupted in joy. Among the bowlers, Shaheen took three, Hafeez and Zaman two, while Wiese and Rauf one as Lahore won their maiden PSL crown.
Earlier, Lahore Qalandars had handed a 181-run target to Multan Sultans. Lahore, after electing to bat first, got off to the worst possible start as they were reduced to 25-3 in 4.2 overs. The in-form Fakhar Zaman was removed for just three runs by Asif Afridi with Shahnawaz Dahani taking a great catch, while Abdullah Shafique was also removed by Asif. But then Mohammad Hafeez showed his experience and class as he steered the ship for Lahore by playing sensibly. With Kamran Ghulam, he forged an important 54-run partnership to steer the inning. Hafeez consistently attacked and went after bowlers and was finally removed for 69 runs by Dahani.
He scored those runs off 46 balls with one six and nine fours. After his dismissal, Harry Brook and David Wiese registered a 43-run stand in just 2.4 overs as they went rampant against the Multan bowlers. In terms of bowling for Multan, Asif was the stand out bowler with brilliant figures of 3-19 in four overs, while leggie Imran Tahir gave away just 22 runs in a wicket-less four-over spell. Dahani went to the cleaners in the late overs as he ended with figures of 1-34 in three overs. Rumman Raees conceded 35 runs in just two overs.
Mohammad Rizwan’s performance earned him another rich reward when he was adjudged the Player of PSL 7. He remained a reliable top-order batter for Multan Sultans when he finished the tournament with 546 runs at a strike rate of 126.68 and inspired his side to the final after winning nine out of 10 league matches. Rizwan also collected the wicketkeeper of the PSL 2022 award. In 12 matches, he accounted for nine batters behind the stumps. Lahore Qalandars Fakhar Zaman and Shadab Khan of Islamabad United were adjudged the best batter and bowler, respectively. Fakhar scored 588 runs at a strike rate of 153, while Shadab Khan ended the tournament with 19 wickets in nine matches with an economy rate of 6.47.
Khushdil Shah of the Sultans was declared as the All-rounder of PSL 2022 for his 153 runs at a strike rate of 182 and 16 wickets with an economy rate of 6.9. He also added the Fielder of PSL 2022 award to his collection. Qalandars’ Zaman Khan was named as the Emerging Cricketer of PSL 2022 after he grabbed 18 wickets. Rashid Riaz was selected by the match officials as the Umpire of HBL PSL 2022, while Sultans were declared winners of the Spirit of Cricket award. Lahore Qalandar’s victory means that all six PSL franchises have been champions at least one time revealing the competitive ethos of the tournament that appears to be against monopolising tactics in the game. TW
Ashraf Ali Siddiqi is with electronic media