Shaheen inspired the defense of Lahore

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Shaheen inspired the defense of Lahore


HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Lahore Qalandars became the first team to defend their title, when they defeated Multan Sultans in just one round at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Saturday.

The final of the HBL PSL8 was rescheduled for Saturday from Sunday as rain threatened to spoil the excitement of the game. Sunday and Monday became reserve days to ensure completion of the 20-overs-a-side game.

But on Saturday, the game was full of drama and nothing else.

It all went down to the last ball of the match with Multan needing four to win from one last ball. Khushdil Shah tried to steal three from deep drive on the leg side but bowler Zaman Khan used his brains to collect the ball and clear the stumps to help Lahore to pass the finish line.

“Shaheen told me to do what I do best, bowl yorkers. However, between deliveries I planned to bowl slowly in the mix too which was appreciated,” the said Zaman after the match.

Lahore chose to bat first and courtesy the ball captain Shaheen reached 200-6 in their 20 overs. The left-arm spinner, whose batting has improved thanks to the guidance of Shahid Afridi, hit 44 off just 15 balls courtesy of a six and two fours.

“It was a team effort,” Shaheen said when asked about the secret recipe. “We believed in ourselves and we won in the end.”

Lahore’s cause was bolstered by Abdullah Shafique’s 65 off 40 balls after Mirza Baig (30) and Fakhar Zaman (39 off 34) gave Lahore a moderate start.

“I want to thank the captain and the management for supporting me and all the players,” said Shafique.

For Multan, leg-spinner Usama Mir bowled the day with 3-24 from his over three overs. Meanwhile, pacers Anwar Ali, Ihsanullah and left-armer Khushdil Shah picked up one wicket each.

Zimbabwe all-rounder Sikandar Raza was delighted as his batting and bowling tests throughout the tournament paid off in the final.

“We received a lot of criticism for changing our batting and bowling balls throughout the game. But we wanted everyone to get wickets and runs under their belts so that they can have some confidence in the end,” Raza said.

“Every player in our team is a match-winner. The fact that every match has a different player-of-the-match in Lahore’s victories proves that.

Along with the new Supernova trophy, Lahore also took home Rs120 million as a prize for their victory. On the other hand, second-placed Multan were given a check of Rs48 million as consolation.

‘Great Tour’

Englishman Sam Billings praised the Lahore crowd after the match, saying that the experience of playing in the HBL PLS8 was amazing.

“The crowd is magic. It shows the passion for the game that people here have [in Pakistan] found,” said Billings. “Being a part of the championship team always feels good. My first experience was great with HBL PSL. I’m happy to be back in this tournament.”

David Wiese was also very happy after the win.

“We tried to stay calm during the tough moments of the game. With 30,000 people cheering in the background, it’s easy to lose focus,” Wiese said. many come to support us.”

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