Lahore Qalandars become champions of PSL for the first time

Published February 27, 2022
Lahore Qalandars captain Shaheen Afridi celebrates taking a wicket in PSL 2022 final. Photo: PSL/Twitter
Lahore Qalandars captain Shaheen Afridi celebrates taking a wicket in PSL 2022 final. Photo: PSL/Twitter
Lahore Qalandars' players celebrate the victory in the final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) Twenty20 cricket match between Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on Sunday. — AFP
Lahore Qalandars' players celebrate the victory in the final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) Twenty20 cricket match between Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on Sunday. — AFP

It was a night to remember for Lahore fans as their beloved Qalandars erased the pain of years of failure to finally bag their maiden Pakistan Super League title by defeating favourites Multan Sultans in the final by 42 runs at Gaddafi Stadium on Sunday.

After being set a target of 181, Multan’s run chase was going according to plan with their in-form duo of Mohammad Rizwan and Shan Masood finding runs with ease.

Things changed in the 4th over when Mohammad Hafeez bowled out Rizwan around the legs as wheels began to come off the Multan innings. Rizwan's departure opened up the floodgates as the defending champions kept on losing wickets at regular intervals, soon finding themselves 63 for 5.

This was when Tim David and Khushdil Shah showed some resistance and formed a 51-run partnership but after David disappeared in Shaheen's second spell starting in the 17th over, all hope was lost. In the end, Multan were skittled out for 138 as Lahore emerged the new champions.

Earlier, Mohammad Hafeez redeemed himself as he rescued Lahore’s fluttering innings from 25 for 3 to help them on their way to a sizable 180 for 5.

His 69 off 46 came after a lethargic 28 off 28 in the previous game – a win over Islamabad – that had done more harm than good.

The Professor’s rescue job was provided fireworks at the end by Lahore’s foreign imports, with Harry Brook smashing a 22-ball 41 and David Wiese an 8-ball 28.

Brook and Wiese’s work at the death deserves more elaboration as at the end of the 16th over, Lahore were languishing at 113-4 — long way away from the eventual 180 they managed. The final 24 balls went for an astonishing 67 runs and the final 12 for 40 runs as Wiese’s sledgehammer of a bat went to work again.

Lahore's victory means that all six PSL franchises have been champions at least one time — a testament to the league's competitiveness that discourages monopolies and streaks.

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