Lahore Qalandars pulled off a stunning heist on the opening night of PSL 2023 to beat Multan Sultans by one run in Multan. Needing 176 for victory, Multan was cruising at one stage and were the favorites to chase down the total before Lahore pulled things back right at the end to prevail by a solitary run.
Batting first, the defending champions put up 50 on the board in the powerplay even though Fakhar Zaman didn’t tee off. Fakhar then took charge after Mirza Baig’s dismissal as he dealt in sixes to guide Lahore to 85 at the halfway mark. While Fakhar continued being positive, Shai Hope couldn’t force the pace despite fetching a six and a boundary in his short stay as he was sent back for 19.
Multan did try to halt the momentum by dismissing Kamran Ghulam and Fakhar off successive deliveries but Sikandar Raza and Hussain Talat came up with valuable cameos to power their side to 175. While Multan didn’t take on Shaheen Afridi against the new ball in the run chase, Mohammad Rizwan got going later in the powerplay to guide his side to 53 after six overs. Rizwan and Shan Masood raised a century stand and put their side firmly in control before the latter fell for 35.
Multan was in the box seat despite that wicket as Rizwan took the attack to the opposition to guide his side to 127/1 after 15 overs. At that stage, they needed 49 from the final five with nine wickets in hand. However, the experienced heads of Afridi and Haris Rauf turned the game on its head with a couple of tight overs that also saw Rizwan get dismissed. Kieron Pollard and David Miller couldn’t get the job done as the equation came down to 15 from the final over. Three wickets in the over ensured the task turned a lot harder but a boundary off the penultimate ball still gave the batting side hope. Needing six from the final ball, Khushdil Shah could manage only four again to see his side agonizingly fall short by one run.
Brief scores: Lahore Qalandars 175/6 in 20 overs (Fakhar Zaman 66, Mirza Baig 32; Usama Mir 2/25) beat Multan Sultans 174/6 in 20 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 75, Shan Masood 35; Hussain Talat 1/16) by 1 run