HBL PSL 2024: Usman, Usama pile on the misery for Qalandars

Published February 28, 2024
MULTAN Sultans batter Usman Khan plays a stroke as Lahore Qalandars wicket-keeper Sahibzada Farhan looks on during their match at the Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday.—M.Arif/White Star
MULTAN Sultans batter Usman Khan plays a stroke as Lahore Qalandars wicket-keeper Sahibzada Farhan looks on during their match at the Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday.—M.Arif/White Star

LAHORE: Lahore Qalandars, desperate to end a five-match losing run, got the start they needed, only for Usman Khan and then Usama Mir to pile further misery on the two-time defending champions.

Playing their last game of the HBL Pakistan Super League on home turf, once again in front of a packed Gaddafi Stadium, skipper Shaheen Shah Afridi sent the crowd wild on Tuesday when his in-dipper got an inside edge off his Multans Sultans counterpart Mohammad Rizwan before crashing onto the stumps.

But from then on, they were largely chasing shadows as Usman took it away with a sparkling 55-ball 96, building fine partnerships with opener Reeza Hendricks (40), Tayyab Tahir (21) and Iftikhar Ahmed (40 not out), to guide the Sultans to an imposing 214-4 after they had elected to bat.

The Qalandars needed a heroic chase but despite a brisk opening stand of 54 by Sahibzada Farhan (31) and Fakhar Zaman (23), they never got partnerships going with leg-spinner Usama (6-40) ripping through their lower and middle order to send them packing for 154 with three overs to spare.

Since winning the title last season, the Qalandars have now lost six in a row; their playoff hopes dwindling with every defeat.

The Sultans, on the other hand, have won five in six and the ease with which they won on the night has made them firm contenders for the title Qalandars seem to be relinquishing.

Hendricks made little of the early dismissal of Sultans’ batting mainstay Rizwan as the South African set the game up for his side with six fours and a six in his 27-ball knock. He pulled an glanced Shaheen for successive fours to set the tone and then took on compatriot George Linde, hitting a four and a six on consecutive deliveries to help his side finish the powerplay at 53-1.

Usman was playing the anchor but got two boundaries in four balls; pulling Sikandar Raza and then turning Carlos Brathwaite off his legs. However, the 70-run partnership was broken when Hendricks was caught behind off Raza, just after he’d pulled away the spinner for his a boundary.

Usman ensured it was a minor hiccup only as he crashed Raza to the cover fence before guiding Brat­h­waite to the third man boundary. He then slam­med a flat six off Brath­waite to take the Sultans to the midway stage of their innings at 95-2.

Tayyab didn’t take long to settle and drove Salman Fayyaz down the ground for his first boundary as Usman raised his 50 on the 31st delivery he faced.

Tayyab’s deft touch fetched him a four behind the wicket off Jahandad Khan and Usman ended the 12th over with a four.

The Sultans were on the charge and Usman deposited Linde for six over mid-wicket and Tayyab paddled him for four. Usman dispatched a Zaman Khan full toss for four at deep fine leg and then slashed Brathwaite for four through the covers before Tayyab holed out in the deep.

The Sultans, though, still seemed to be headed towards a total in excess of 200 as they were 151-3 with five overs to go and Iftikhar kept them on track with an 18-ball blitz, which began when he smacked Jahan­dad for four over extra cover.

Usman thrashed Zaman for consecutive boundaries but got lucky on 89 when Brathwaite floored him at backward point. Shaheen hit Iftikhar on the grill, only for the right-hander to smash back-to-back sixes after recovering; first over deep extra cover and then over deep fine before finishing the 18th over with a cut for four.

Jahandad was belted away for a six as the Sultans crossed the 200-run mark and Usman moving moved four short of a century with his 11th boundary before Shaheen had him caught on the leg side in the last over.

Farhan and Fakhar gave Qalandars the start the big chase needed; the former cutting Khushdil Shah away for four with the first ball of the reply and then driving Mohammad Ali for four through the covers. Khushdil was then powered over mid-off for another boundary.

Fakhar got his first boundary at the start of the third over, cutting Ali past backward point, and got his second off Shahnawaz Dahani with a square drive with Farhan ensuring the fifth over ended with a flourish with three fours in a row to bring up the 50 for his side.

Fakhar started the sixth with another four but was cleaned up two balls later when Aftab Ibrahim found the yorker. Farhan followed six balls later, miscuing a sweep off Khushdil to be caught by Aftab at short fine leg.

Rassie van der Dussen (30) got off to a slow start but then opened his arms to launch chinaman Faisal Akram (2-25) for six over long-on, before being dropped at deep square two balls later. Faisal, however, got Kamran Ghulam (12) caught at deep mid-wicket to leave Qalandars at 91-3 after 10 overs.

Raza (17) smacked consecutive sixes off Usama in the following over but Faisal sent him back as the Zimbabwean tried to go for another big hit but found Hendricks at deep mid-wicket.

Shaheen promoted himself up the order and muscled Usama for six wide of long-on, only for the leggie to get him stumped three balls later. Usama retu­rned an over later to get Van der Dussen caught in the deep and then got two in two balls, first having Linde caught behind and then uprooted Jahandad’s off-stump to leave the Qalandars reeling at 133-8 with four overs to go.

Brathwaite landed some big hits before Usama returned to get Salman caught at mid-off after the tailender had launched him for a six over long-on and then finished off the Qalandars by having Zaman caught in the deep for his career-best T20 figures.

SCOREBOARD

MULTAN SULTANS:

Batters & modes of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR

Mohammad Rizwan b Shaheen 0 5 0 0 0.00

Reeza Hendricks c Farhan b Raza 40 27 6 1 148.14

Usman Khan c Salman b Shaheen 96 55 11 2 174.54

Tayyab Tahir c Jahandad b Brathwaite 21 14 3 0 150.00

Iftikhar Ahmed not out 40 18 2 3 222.22

Khushdil Shah not out 3 2 0 0 150.00

EXTRAS (LB-5, NB-1, W-8) 14

TOTAL (for four wickets, 20 overs) 214

DID NOT BAT: Usama Mir, Aftab Ibrahim, Faisal Akram, Mohammad Ali, Shahnawaz Dahani

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-4 (Rizwan), 2-74 (Hendricks), 3-151 (Tayyab), 4-211 (Usman)

BOWLING: Shaheen 4-0-39-2 (3w), Zaman 4-0-43-0 (3w, 1nb), Linde 2-0-25-0, Brathwaite 4-0-36-1, Raza 2-0-20-1, Salman 1-0-11-0, Jahandad 3-0-35-0

LAHORE QALANDARS:

Batters & modes of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR

Sahibzada Farhan c Aftab b Khushdil 31 21 6 0 147.61

Fakhar Zaman b Aftab 23 16 3 0 143.75

Rassie van der Dussen c Rizwan b Usama 30 22 1 1 136.36

Kamran Ghulam c Tayyab b Faisal 12 9 2 0 133.33

Sikandar Raza c Hendricks b Faisal 17 7 0 2 242.85

Shaheen Shah Afridi st Usman b Usama 9 5 0 1 180.00

George Linde c Usman b Usama 5 7 0 0 71.42

Carlos Brathwaite not out 14 7 1 1 200.00

Jahandad Khan b Usama 0 1 0 0 0.00

Salman Fayyaz c Rizwan b Usama 8 4 0 1 200.00

Zaman Khan c Tayyab b Usama 1 3 0 0 33.33

EXTRAS (B-4) 4

TOTAL (all out, 17 overs) 154

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-54 (Fakhar), 2-56 (Farhan), 3-89 (Kamran), 4-107 (Raza), 5-120 (Shaheen), 6-131 (van der Dussen), 7-132 (Linde), 8-132 (Jahandad), 9-152 (Salman)

BOWLING: Khushdil 4-0-31-1, Ali 3-0-32-0, Dahani 1-0-17-0, Aftab 1-0-5-1, Faisal 4-0-25-2, Usama 4-0-40-6

RESULT: Multan Sultans won by 60 runs.

PLAYER-OF-THE-MATCH: Usman Khan

Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2024

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