Rashid Khan’s three wickets and the 69-run third-wicket stand between Sam Billings and Abdullah Shafique enabled the defending champion Lahore Qalandars to upset Multan Sultans and move once again to the PSL playoffs. As Lahore Qalandars made the decision to bat, Fakhar Zaman was dismissed for a duck in the first over. After working together to increase the pace by taking Khushdil Shah for 17 runs in the second over, Mirza Baig and Shafique put together a 49-run partnership that helped rebuild the innings.
Ihsanullah made his debut by dismissing Baig as Mohammad Rizwan produced a superb catch behind the wickets. Shafique was then joined by Billings at the crease. The two made sure they often crossed boundaries as they advanced to their dominating position. In the 13th over, Kieron Pollard struck to dismiss Shafique for 48 runs, and in the subsequent over, he struck once again to dismiss Billings just as the England batter reached his fifty-run mark.
Lahore Qalandars Qualified for the playoffs
After his dismissal, Lahore Qalandars continued to lose wickets at regular intervals, but they prevented the run rate from dramatically dropping. Despite some key contributions from Sikandar Raza (14), David Wiese (15), and Shaheen Shah Afridi (9) that helped the side reach 180 runs in their allocated overs, the Sultans’ bowlers were unable to stem the flow of runs as the Lahore Qalandars continued to often lose wickets.
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Shaheen Shah Afridi, the skipper, struck two boundaries before getting dismissed in the penultimate over, helping his side to a solid 180 for 9. Two wickets were taken by Anwar Ali, Ihsanullah, Pollard, Abbas Afridi, and Sameen Gul. On the other side, Multan Sultans started the pursuit gradually. Zaman Khan bowled Shan Masood for a 20-ball 19 in the eighth over.
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The next over, in the tenth, saw Raza pin Rizwan in front. Rashid then had his moment to shine, dismissing Rilee Rossouw in the thirteenth over after eliminating Usama Mir and David Miller with a double strike in the eleventh. The required run pace increased to nearly 15 at the conclusion of the fifteenth over, making it difficult for the Sultans to keep up. Pollard did smash two sixes and a four in the last over, but it was already too late since the Multan Sultans had already lost by 21 runs.
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A PSL first, Lahore has won five consecutive games at home, while the bowlers for the Lahore Qalandars have successfully held totals in six games. The reigning champion Lahore Lahore Qalandars became the first club to go to the Pakistan Super League playoffs after beating Multan Sultans by a score of 21 runs on Saturday.
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After suffering its third loss in seven games, Multan maintained the second position and outperformed Islamabad United in net run rate. Lahore Qalandars 180 for 9 (Billings 54, Shafique 48, and Ihsanullah 2-33) beat Multan Sultans 159 for 7 (Pollard 39, Rashid 3-15) by 21 runs.
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