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Superb Sultans reach final of PSL despite low score in 1st qualifier

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LAHORE: Despite law score defending champions Multan Sultans booked their place in the final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) after victory against Lahore Qalandars by 28 runs in the first qualifier played at Gaddafi Stadium on Wednesday.

Chasing a comparatively small target of 164 runs, the Qalandars reached 135 for the loss of nine wickets in the designated overs as the Sultan bowlers ripped through the batting line-up of the Shaheen Shah Afridi-led side.

Multan bowlers kept things tight for Lahore batters as they were on target from the word go. Left-arm spinner Asif Afridi removed opener Abdullah Shafique with Lahore’s score of just 17 runs.

Kamran Ghulam and Fakhar Zaman forged a small partnership, but Kamran was removed. Mohammad Hafeez got out for zero as things worsen for Lahore.

While Harry Brook and Fakhar notched a 54-run stand to keep Lahore in the game, it was Dahani who changed the game, as he removed Harry for 13, and also sent the next batter Samit Patel packing with a sensational catch.

After that, Sultan’s completely got the grip on the game as all the other batters had no clue to hit boundaries against the sensational bowling of Multan.

In terms of bowling, Dahani was brilliant with figures of 3-19, Willey picked two, while Rumman Raees, Khushdil Shah and Asif picked one.

Earlier, the Sultans were able to score 163 runs in 20 overs, courtesy of Rilee Rossouw who smashed 65 runs as Lahore Qalandars applied early pressure after electing to bowl first.

Lahore bowlers were right on the money as both — the pacer and spinners — kept things tight for the in-form Multan batters.

Shaheen gave the second over to off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez, and he just showed how good he is against the left-handed batters as he picked the in-form left-hander Shan Masood’s wicket on the first ball.

Rizwan, just like the last game against United, played sensibly and according to the situation. He sustained the early pressure without taking a risk and rotated the strike.

Aamer Azmat scored 33 runs off 22 balls, while Rizwan scored 53 off 51 balls, and Rossuw was sensational as his 65-run inning off 42 balls with seven fours, and one six helped Multan reach 163.

In terms of bowling, Hafeez was sensational with the ball as he registered brilliant figures of 1-16 in four overs.

Lahore Qalandars had won the toss and elected to bowl first against Multan Sultans.

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