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Sunday April 14, 2024

Multan get win on the trot to outsmart Lahore

Multan maintained a nippy bowling to keep Lahore in its groove

By Our Correspondent
February 22, 2024
Multans fast bowler Abbas Afridi and Captain Mohammad Rizwan can be seen in this image. — Facebook/Multan Sultans
Multan's fast bowler Abbas Afridi and Captain Mohammad Rizwan can be seen in this image. — Facebook/Multan Sultans

MULTAN: Multan Sultans maintained its perfect victory run by overpowering Lahore Qalandars in the seventh match of the Pakistan Super League 2024 here at the Multan Stadium on Tuesday night.

After allowing Lahore Qalandars to get 166 runs for five, Multan Sultans outdid the target, smacking 170 runs for five, thus winning the match by five wickets in 19 overs, with six balls to spare. Lahore Qalandars bowlers once again failed to defend the target. They started off well by getting two quick wickets. But Rizwan held the innings together and at one stage Qalandars felt they are back in the game with the wicket of Rizwan, but it was Iftikhar at the end, who wiped out all their hopes. Multan Sultans won by 5 wickets and remain unbeaten in the event so far. Excellent innings by their captain on top and what a finish by Ifti-mania, scored 34* in 11 balls with 5x4s and 2x6s.

Opening for his team, captain Mohammad Rizwan smacked 61st half century of the career to bolster Multan’s chase. But he could not find a perfect support from the other end. It was for the first time Lahore Qalandars attack displayed the true spirit of bowling prowess. Zaman Khan and Shaheen Shah Afridi dented the Multan upper order with only Rizwan holding the initiative from the Multan batting lineup. Rizwan on its way to his belligerent 82 in 59 balls witnessed three of his colleagues in Dawid Malan on duck, Reeza Hendricks (9) and Yasir Khan (8) fall with little contribution. However, the fourth wicket partnership of Yasir, with Rizwan holding the reins, was the main feature of Multan innings.

At that point in time, it seemed the match had slipped away from Multan’s hands but late cameo from David Willey who contributed 25 runs and Iftikhar Ahmed with his rapid-fire unbeaten 34 stole victory from the jaws of defeat. Zaman Khan who was bowling with perfection became the victim of Iftikhar’s onslaught that came in the 19th over. Iftikhar punched two sixes and three fours to have 25 runs there and then to weed off the deficit and earned win for Multan. Shaheen Shah and Zaman grabbed two wickets each while George Linde had one.

Despite a tight bowling from Multan, Lahore’s batter Rassie van der Dussen and Fakhar Zaman came up with a vital 94 runs third wicket partnership. Dussen on his part produced his 33rd half century developing 54 runs while Fakhar made 41 in the innings building involvement. Some useful contributions from Sikandar Raza (23), Jahandad Khan (16) and Carlos Brothwaite (15) were the only visible additions to the Lahore total.

Dussen in his innings of 37 balls hit four fours and two sixes while Fakhar timed four boundaries, two were minimum and two maximum. Sikandar timed four boundaries while Jahandad and Carlos shared a six each in their innings.

Multan maintained a nippy bowling to keep Lahore in its groove. Mohammad Ali with two wickets was the pick of bowlers while Usama Mir was economical of all with one wicket for 25. Abbas Afridi also snared one wicket.

Shaheen Afridi won the toss for Qalandars and opted to bat first. Both the teams made one change each. For Sultans, Shahnawaz Dahani comes in for injured Olly Stone. In Qalandars, George Linde replaces Salman Fayyaz. Lahore Qalandars’ bowling is the worried point for them, they are missing Rashid Khan badly, Shaheen, Haris and Zaman also looked a bit odd. Sahibzada Farhan performed well with the bat in the previous games as he scored back to back fifties but today he floundered.

Multan Sultans have been a more consistent, solid and balanced side so far both with bat and ball this season as well. As Reeza Hendricks failed today, Rizwan returned to form. In bowling, Mohammad Ali performed superbly both with the new and old ball.