Lahore Qalandars made it to the semi-finals of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 on Sunday after they flattened top-ranked Multan Sultans by nine wickets.
The Qalandars scored 191 for the loss of one wicket, with seven balls to spare while chasing a target of 187 runs set by the Sultans at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
The team's success was largely due to Chris Lynn's unbeaten innings of 113 runs making him the first player from the team to score a century in all five seasons of the tournament.
This is the first time the Qalandars have reached the knockout stage of PSL. In the previous tournaments, the team always finished as the last team on the points table.
Earlier, Lahore Qalandars won the toss and elected to field.
Moeen Ali (1) and Zeeshan Ashraf (2) poorly opened the innings for the Sultans. Ali was sent back to the pavilion in the very first over on Shaheen Shah Afridi's yorker when he tried to play the ball towards the mid-wicket but missed and was bowled out.
Ashraf lost his wicket in the next over when he was caught out by Sohail Akhtar on Mohammad Hafeez's ball. The pace of the game remained slow for the next few overs as the Sultans reeled from the loss of wickets so early in the game until Ravi Bopara (33) and Shan Masood's 72-run partnership helped bring some stability.
However, Masood (42) lost his wicket on David Wiese's ball in the 11th over. Bopara and Asad Shafiq (1) both lost their wickets to Wiese's spectacular bowling spell during the 13th over. The Sultan's run rate kept increasing steadily as Khushdil Shah — who was the highest scorer for Sultans with an unbeaten 70 — and Rohail Nazir (24) came in until the latter got bowled in the 19th over. Shah's three sixes in the last over helped the team set a respectable 187-run target for Qalandars.
The home team displayed the same splendid performance that enabled it to win four of its five last matches in the tournament as openers Fakhar Zaman (57) and Lynn battered the Multan side with a spectacular 100-run partnership.
Zaman lost his wicket in the 10th over but Lynn did not let the team lose momentum and went on to score the Qalandar's first-ever century, leading the team to their first semi-final in the PSL.
Lahore Qalandars: Sohail Akhtar (c), Fakhar Zaman, Chris Lynn, Mohammad Hafeez, Ben Dunk, David Wiese, Samit Patel, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Farzan Raja, Dilber Hussain
Multan Sultans: Shan Masood (c), Rohail Nazir, Zeeshan Ashraf, Asad Shafiq, Khushdil Shah, Moeen Ali, Ravi Bopara, Usman Qadir, Bilawal Bhatti, Ali Shafiq, Junaid Khan