Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi surpassed Steve Smith and Rohit Sharma to register a new world record in T20 cricket after he led Lahore Qalandars to their maiden Pakistan Super League (PSL) title with an impressive win against Multan Sultans at the Gaddafi stadium.
With the triumph, the 21-year old became the youngest captain to win a major T20 league, surpassing Smith, who at the age of 22, had led Sydney Sixers to a Big Bash League title in 2012, and Rohit had guided Mumbai Indians to their first Indian Premier League (IPL) trophy in 2013 at the age of 26. Lahore had made it to the playoffs five times in the first six seasons and finished as the runners-up in 2020 before claiming the trophy in 2022.
Lahore Qalandars won its first Pakistan Super League title on Sunday, beating defending champion Multan Sultans by 42 runs in the final.
Multan came into the final on the back of 10 wins in 11 games but was bowled out by Lahore for 138 in 19.3 overs.
Veteran Mohammad Hafeez formed the backbone of Lahore’s formidable total of 180-5 by scoring 69 off 46 balls after skipper Shaheen Shah Afridi won the toss and opted to bat first.
Hafeez then chipped in with 2-23 with his off-spin bowling before Afridi claimed 3-30 in his return spell to not only seal the final, but also ended the tournament as leading wicket-taker on 20.
Lahore was the only team which had beaten Multan, led by Pakistan wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, in the league games.
“It was a difficult responsibility when I was appointed captain, but thanks to family (and) Hafeez who supported throughout and everyone in the team,” Afridi said. “I want to give credit to everyone in the team as all of them put up their hands and contributed at different times.”
Throughout the tournament, Rizwan and his opening partner Shan Masood had provided Multan with some brisk starts, but both got dismissed inside the batting powerplay on Sunday which exposed the middle order.
Hafeez had Rizwan clean bowled around his legs for 14 in the fourth over and Masood (19) got run out in the following over off a brilliant direct throw from Fakhar Zaman.
Fast bowler Zaman Khan (2-26), who took 18 wickets in the tournament, then bowled tidily and effectively in the middle overs for the wickets of Rilee Rossouw (15) and Asif Afridi (1) before Afridi ran through the lower order by knocking off hard-hitter Tim David (27) and David Willey (0) in one over.
Earlier, Hafeez held Lahore’s innings together despite left-arm spinner Asif Afridi claiming three wickets for 19 runs which had reduced Lahore to 79-4 in the 12th over.
Englishman Harry Brook (41 not out off 22 balls) and David Wiese (28 not out off eight balls) provided the late flourish by smashing 43 runs off the last 16 balls.