By Sulman Ahmed
Multan Sultans brushed aside Lahore Qalandars by outplaying them in all the departments during the playoff of the eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) at Qaddafi Stadium on Wednesday.
The Sultans inflicted defeat on the Qalandars by 84 runs. There were many pluses for the Sultans in all the departments. It was Pollard’s special that stormed them to the decent total, after an early hiccup. Jamaican Sheldon Shane Cottrell, who was only playing his second game for the Sultans, also befuddled the Qalandars in no time. Chasing a target of 161, the Qalandars were bundled out for 76. Following the disciplined batting, the Sultans’ bowlers got into act with the equal gusto. The loss of Mirza Baig (8 off 9) started the slide and it went downhill quickly thereafter.
Fakhar Zaman (6 off 7), who was in sublime form in the tournament was cleaned up Anwar Ali. Abdullah Shafique was undone on duck by Cottrell. Shaheen Shah Afridi, who promoted himself was also bowled on duck by Cottrell. Sam Billings tried to show some resistance, but he was perished on 19 off 27 balls. Ihsanullah scooped up the wicket of Billings. Hussain Talat (4 off 10) was runout by Usman Khan. Sikandar Raza (1 off 3) hoicked Kieron Pollard straight to Abbas Afridi.
Usama Mir bagged two wickets. First he trapped Rashid Khan, who made his way back to the pavilion on duck. Then, Usama removed David Wiese (12 off 12). Haris Rauf (15 off 13) paved way for the Sultans to cement their place to Sunday’s final. Cottrell (3-20) spearheaded the Sultans’ bowling attack, bagging three wickets. Usama Mir (2-12) picked up two wickets in his two overs. Anwar Ali (1-13), Abbas Afridi (1-5), Ihsanullah (1-18) took a scalp each.
Kieron Pollard’s enterprising 34-ball 57 powered Multan Sultans to 160-5 against Lahore Qalandars in the playoff of the eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) at Qaddafi Stadium on Wednesday. Riding on a dazzling, Kieron Pollard honked a boundary and six maximums, helping his team to put a decent total on the board. He was ably supported by Tim David, who looked belligerent for his unbeaten 22 off 15, lacing with one four and maximum.
After opting to bat first, the Sultans’ openers, Mohammad Rizwan and Usman Khan were off to circumspect start. Both of them stitched a 53-run partnership of 45 balls. This mounted pressure on the visitors. Mohammad Rizwan played a circumspect knock, scoring 29-ball 33, studding with three boundaries, before he was snaffled by Qalandars’ magician Rashid Khan. Usman Khan, who launched an incredible assault against the Quetta Gladiators could managed almost run a ball, scoring 28-ball 29, clobbered four boundaries.
The turning point of the Sultans’ innings was the departure of Rilee Rossouw (13 off 12), who had been brilliant through the eighth edition, was failed to play a spunky knock and deceived by Zaman Khan, while trying to hit over midwicket. In the 19th over, Kieron Pollard hammered Qalandars’ skipper Shaheen Shah Afridi for three sixes. Shaheen conceded 20 runs in that over. The last over belonged to Haris Rauf, who used his variations with too much brilliance. He struck twice in successive deliveries, flummoxing Kieron Pollard and Khushdil Shah (0 off 1). For the Qalandars, Haris Rauf (3-34) spearheaded the bowling attack, bagging three wickets. Utilising his vast experience, Rashid Khan was once again brilliant, claiming a wicket and merely conceded 18 in his four overs. Zaman Khan took a big wicket of Rilee Rossouw, conceding 36 runs.