Multan Sultans on Wednesday qualified for the final of the eighth season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) after defeating Lahore Qalandars in a thrilling qualifier at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore today.
Chasing the target of 161 runs, Lahore were rolled over for only 76 runs in 14.3 overs.
Lahore lost Mirza Tahir Baig (8) early after Sheldon Cottrell enticed a huge swipe from the batter, who edged one through to Rizwan.
Cottrell struck in the same over to trap Abdullah Shafique (0) in front of the stumps.
Lahore were hoping that opener and star batter Fakhar Zaman would lead the run-chase but that was not the case after the left-hander was clean-bowled by an inswinger from Anwar Ali. He scored six runs in seven balls.
Cottrell also sent Shaheen Shah Afridi packing for a duck in the fifth over of the match.
Hussain Talat (4) was sent back to the hut after a direct hit from Usman Khan left him short of the crease.
Sikandar Raza (0) also departed soon after as Abbas Afridi took a stunning catch in the deep on the bowling of Kieron Pollard. This left Qalandars reeling at 43-6 in the 10th over.
The remaining wickets also fell without much resistance as Multan completed a comprehensive victory over the defending champions.
Cottrell was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3-20 in three overs.
Earlier, after deciding to bat first, Multan scored 160-5 in their allotted 20 overs.
Multan made a decent start in the powerplay with 46 runs on the board without losing a wicket.
Lahore got their first breakthrough in the eighth over after Haris Rauf cleaned up Usman Khan, who scored 29 runs in 28 balls. He added 53 runs for the first wicket with skipper Mohammad Rizwan.
Zaman Khan bagged the prized scalp of Rilee Rossouw after he tried to smack a slower ball over long-on but was caught by Rauf. He scored 13 runs in 12 balls.
Meanwhile, Rashid Khan dismissed Mohammad Rizwan after the latter missed a googly while trying to play a heave towards the leg side. The Multan captain scored 33 runs in 29 balls with the help of three fours.
Lahore’s good bowling, coupled with a lack of intent from the Multan batters, ensured that the middle overs belonged to the fielding side.
However, Lahore fluffed some chances in the death overs which allowed Kieron Pollard to take the attack to the bowling side. The hard-hitting West Indies batter notched up 57 runs in 34 balls with the help of six maximums and a four.
Tim David remained unbeaten on 22 runs in 15 balls.
Rauf was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3-34 in four overs. Meanwhile, Zaman and Rashid bagged one wicket each.
David Wiese also bowled an economical spell of 0-24 in four overs.
While Multan qualified for the final, Lahore will now play the second eliminator against the winning team of the first eliminator.
Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi will meet in the first eliminator on Thursday and the team that loses will get knocked out of the event. The winner will face Lahore on Friday.
Lahore Qalandars: Fakhar Zaman, Mirza Tahir Baig, Abdullah Shafique, Sam Billings (wk), Hussain Talat, Sikandar Raza, David Wiese, Rashid Khan, Shaheen Afridi (c), Haris Rauf, Zaman Khan.
Multan Sultans: Mohammad Rizwan (wk/c), Usman Khan, Rilee Rossouw, Kieron Pollard, Tim David, Khushdil Shah, Anwar Ali, Usama Mir, Abbas Afridi, Sheldon Cottrell, Ihsanullah.