Fakhar Zaman's batting masterclass and Shaheen Shah Afridi's five-fer powered Lahore Qalandars to a 40-run win over Peshawar Zalmi in the 15th match of the Pakistan Super League season eight (PSL 8).
After posting a mammoth total on the board, Lahore started brilliantly with the ball with skipper Shaheen Afridi removing Mohammad Haris (0), and Babar Azam (7) early in the innings. However, Saim Ayub (51), and Tom-Kohler Kadmore (54) kept the asking rate in check with excellent power-hitting.
When everyone, including Rashid Khan and Haris Rauf, were being taken to the cleaners, Zaman Khan broke through the partnership as he removed Kadmore with a well-disguised slower ball. Rajapaksa (24) and Rovman Powell (20), also chipped in but failed to overcome the gigantic target, and fell 40 runs short.
With the ball, Arshad Iqbal and Wahab Riaz took control of the proceedings early as Wahab Riaz clean bowled Mirza Tahir Baig for five runs. After seeing off the new ball, Fakhar Zaman and Abdullah Shafique broke free after the powerplay and showed the finest display of power-hitting, smashing the bowlers all over the park.
The duo had added 120 runs for the second wicket before Abdullah departed for his 75 runs. Sam Billings, the next batter in, made sure the run rate didn't drop. He and Fakhar (96) added another 88 runs for the third wicket, where Fakhar did most of the scoring. However, after Fakhar hauled out for 96, Sam Billings (47 off 23) continued the onslaught to propel Lahore to 241/3 - the third-highest total in the entire history of PSL.
In the first match of the day, debutant Tayyab Tahir starred in Karachi Kings’ thumping 66-run win over Multan Sultans in the 14th game of the event.
After being asked to bat, Karachi took an aggressive start thanks to James Vince’s baton charge. He seemed to take the game away, but Multan made a good comeback on the back of Anwar Ali’s intelligent bowling. He removed Vince for 11-ball 27 in the powerplay.
Debutant Tayyab Tahir and Matthew Wade added 109 runs for the second wicket before the former departed for his 65. Wade also perished soon after for 47-ball 46. Multan bowlers took the charge from there and gave away only 37 runs in the final five overs, conceding just two boundaries – a four and a six – that too in the final over.
Multan’s was a reasonable start as they scored 41 runs in the first five overs, losing only one wicket of Shan Masood (25). Things looked in Multan’s control until Tabraiz Shamsi came to bowl. He destroyed Multan’s batting lineup with his magical figures of 3/18 in his 4 overs.
No Multan Sultans’ batter, other than the top two, Shan (25) and Mohammad Rizwan (29), could touch the 20-run mark, as they skittled out to just 101 runs in the 17th over.
Shoaib Malik, 3/16 in 3.3 overs, and Akif Javed 2/8 in 2 overs were other key performers for Karachi.
With this emphatic win, Karachi now jump to the third spot with 4 points in 6 games.
Points Table Update
A big shuffle wasa noticed on the points table after Karachi and Lahore’s emphatic wins. Karachi, who had been reeling at the fifth spot jumped one place to the fourth place. Lahore, on the other hand, cemented their No.3 slot with another all-round show. Despite a heavy defeat, Multan continue to rule the points table with 8 points in 6 games, followed by Islamabad United in the second. Peshawar Zalmi have now slid to fifth place, while Quetta remain at the bottom of the table with a solatory win in five games.
In the next encounter, high-flying Islamabad United will face home side Lahore Qalandars at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium on Monday, February 27.
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