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Zaman Khan starred for Lahore Qalandars as the defending champions beat Multan Sultans by one run in a nail-biting thriller to start their Pakistan Super League (PSL) season eight campaign with a win.

Defending 175 runs in dewy conditions, Lahore bowlers held their nerves and restricted Multan to 174/6, handing them their first defeat at home.

With 176 in sight, Mohammad Rizwan and Shan Masood put up a brilliant 100-run opening partnership, laying down a solid base for the middle-order to capitalise on it.

Lahore succeeded in breaking through the opening stand just after Strategic Time Out when their seventh bowling option Hussain Talat removed Shan Masood for 35 in the 13th over. David Miller was the next batter to walk in. Rizwan along with Miller added 31 runs for the second wicket before being bowled by Shaheen Afridi for 75.

His wicket tilted the game toward Lahore, who then exerted more pressure by drying up boundaries for Miller and Keiron Pollard.

With scoreboard pressure mounting, Miller (11) decided to steal a boundary with an unconventional sweep on Haris Rauf's quick yorker in the 19th over but ended up losing his wicket, as the stumps were rattled. Despite the wicket on the first ball, Pollard kept his calm and hit a six and a four on the remaining five balls of Rauf to reduce the equation to 15 runs from the last ball 6 balls.

Zaman, who successfully defended 14 runs against Islamabad United in the previous season, proved his mettle once again and gave away only 13 runs with a wicket of Usman Khan (and two runouts of Pollard, and Usama Mir) to hand his side an important victory.

HBL PSL-8 starts today: Lahore Qalandars to face Multan Sultans

First Innings

Earlier, Lahore scraped their way to 175/6 which was an average score on this wicket. Fakhar Zaman (66) and Mirza Baig (32) provided a stable start with a 61-run partnership. Baig was the first wicket to fall on the night. He was caught by Akeal Hosein at backward square on Usama Mir’s delivery.

New batter Shai Hope (19) took the score to 119 along with in-form Fakhar Zaman. The next three wickets of Hope, Kamran Ghulam (3), and Fakhar fell within the span of six runs, giving Multan Sultans a chance to bounce back in the game.

There was a bit of recovery toward the last few overs as Qalandars managed to get 45 off the final four. Sikander Raza (19), and Hussain Talat (20) put together a small, but handy partnership of 39 runs towards the end to drag their side to 175/6 in the given 20 overs.

The spin duo of Usama Mir and Akeal Hosein were brilliant for the home side as they kept Lahore in check and didn't let them get off the hook.

PSL opening ceremony

Before the PSL- 8 action kicked off, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), in a continuation of its tradition, held a glittering opening ceremony. The cricket fans in Multan and all around the world witnessed spectacular performances by different artists and one of the major attractions were the performances of the singers of the HBL-PSL-8 anthem - Abdullah Siddiqui, Asim Azhar, Faris Shafi, and Shae Gill.

The fans were treated to performances by the renowned music composer Sahir Ali Bagga and talented singer Aima Baig as the two added to the star-studded line-up to make the opening ceremony even more exciting.

Points Table Update

With this win, Lahore get two valuable points to grab the top position in the points table.

Next Fixtures

Fans will witness an important game between Karachi Kings and Quetta Gladiators at 7:30 pm. The match will be played at the National Bank Cricket Arena, Karachi.

Past PSL Winners

PSL 2016 – Islamabad United

PSL 2017 – Peshawar Zalmi

PSL 2018 – Islamabad United

PSL 2019 – Quetta Gladiators

PSL 2020 – Karachi Kings

PSL 2021 – Multan Sultans

PSL 2022 - Lahore Qalandars

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