Unbeaten half-centuries by Rilee Rossouw (65) and captain Mohammad Rizwan (53) anchored Multan to 163-2.

Unstoppable defending champion Multan Sultans breezed into the Pakistan Super League final with a commanding 28-run win over Lahore Qalandars in the qualifier on Wednesday.

Unbeaten half-centuries by Rilee Rossouw (65) and captain Mohammad Rizwan (53) anchored Multan to 163-2 on a slow wicket after Lahore skipper Shaheen Shah Afridi won the toss and elected to field.

The tournament’s leading scorer Fakhar Zaman (63), top-scored for Lahore, but the brittle middle-order collapsed against Shahnawaz Dahani (3-19) at the backend of its run-chase to get restricted at 135-9.

Left-hander Zaman, who has scored 584 this season with seven half-centuries and a century, looked to have taken the game away from Multan by smashing three successive off Imran Tahir in the 13th over before Multan bagged six wickets for 26 runs.

Dahani turned the tables by having Harry Brook lbw off his third delivery, and David Willey (2-23) followed it up by trapping Zaman leg before wicket in the 15th over.

Dahani took a spectacular catch of Samit Patel at deep mid-wicket and also dismissed Phil Salt and Afridi cheaply to take the steam out of Lahore’s run-chase.

Earlier, Rizwan and Rossouw played cautiously against off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez (1-16), who didn’t concede a boundary, before both compiled 53 runs against fast bowlers in the last five overs to set up a challenging total for Lahore.

Rizwan hit only three boundaries in his seventh half-century this season but kept the scoreboard ticking with his brilliant running between the wickets with Rossouw, who smashed seven fours and a six.

Multan has a dream run this season as it lost just one league game out of 10 to finish on top of the points table. Lahore, which defeated Multan in the league game, will have another chance to qualify for Sunday’s final when it will meet the winner of Thursday’s eliminator between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi.

Leave a comment

Cancel reply