Mohammad Hafeez's all-round performance led Lahore Qalandars to their maiden Pakistan Super League (PSL) title as they thrashed defending champions Multan Sultans by 42 runs in the final of the event on Sunday.
Chasing a sizeable total of 181 runs, Mohammad Rizwan-led Sultans were wrapped up for 138.
Earlier, Lahore Qalandars skipper Shaheen Afridi’s decision to bat first was questioned by Multan Sultans bowlers as they took the first three wickets in the powerplay with just 25 runs on the board.
Mohammad Hafeez’s crucial fifty (69 off 46), Harry Brooks's 41 runs from 22, and David Wiese’s small cameo of 28 runs from 8 balls took Lahore to a competitive total of 180/5.
In response, Mohammad Rizwan (14 off 12) and Shan Masood (19 off 15) provide a quick start to Multan Sultans. However, Multan lost the plot after both openers departed in a quick succession.
The next two wickets also fell quickly, leaving Rilee Rossouw (15 off 22) and Tim David (27 off 17) to slow down the scoring rate in order to rebuild the innings.
Khushdil Shah (32) played a few big shots, but the pressure of mounting run-rate forced him and other Multan batters to throw their wickets in search of big hits, as they were bundled out for 138 in the 20th over, handing Lahore Qalandars a 42-run win.
Hafeez was once again the key for Qalandars as he took two crucial wickets of Rizwan and Aamer Azmat earlier in the innings to push Sultans on the back foot.
Past PSL Winners
So far, Islamabad is the only team to have won two PSL trophies, first in 2016 and then again in 2018. Besides, Peshawar Zalmi (2017), Quetta Gladiators (2019), Karachi Kings (2020), and Multan Sultans (2021) have each won the tournament once. Before this final, Lahore Qalandars were the only team without a PSL trophy, which has now been taken care of.
Highlights of PSL 2022
** Karachi Kings losing streak**
Pakistan’s all-format captain Babar Azam-led Karachi Kings created the most unwanted record in this year’s PSL as his side lost nine out of ten games they were involved in.
Previously, former Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed-led Quetta Gladiators had the longest losing streak of eight matches in a single edition. Gladiators achieved this unlikeable feat in the 2021 edition of the PSL.
Multan Sultans winning record
On the contrary, Multan Sultans enjoyed a great campaign in the 7th edition of PSL and finished as table-toppers with nine wins from ten matches. Overall, they played 12 games in the tournament and won 10 of them. Both of their losses came against the Lahore Qalandars.
The previous record of most wins in a single edition was held by Islamabad United. They won eight out of ten matches in the league stages last season.
Fakhar Zaman’s fine form
The Lahore Qalandars opener Fakhar Zaman had a brilliant run in the tournament as he broke Babar Azam's record for most runs in a single edition of PSL.
In 13 outings this season, Fakhar piled up 588 runs on the back of one century and seven fifties. He surpassed Babar Azam’s record of 554 runs, which the Karachi Kings skipper made during the PSL 2021.
Harry Brook's fastest hundred
Lahore Qalandar's middle-order batter Harry Brook hit the record-breaking century this season. Brook’s 48-ball hundred against Islamabad United in a league match was the fastest hundred of the season and second-quickest in PSL history.
Multan Sultans’ top-order batter Rilee Rossouw still holds the record of the fastest PSL century on just 43 balls. He achieved this feat in PSL 2020 against Quetta Gladiators.
Most wickets in PSL 7
Lahore's skipper Shaheen Shah Afridi was the highest wicket-taker this season with 20 scalps in 13 games. Shadab Khan, Islamabad United captain, was the second in the list with 19 wickets in 9 matches.