Shaheen Afridi, Abdullah Shafique shine as Lahore Qalandars emerge PSL 2023 Champions

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Lahore Qalandars triumphed over Multan Sultans by just one run to lift the Pakistan Super League 2023 title for the second consecutive time. Captain Shaheen Shah Afridi led by example, hammering 44* off 15 deliveries and picking up four wickets in the final against Multan Sultans, as the latter fell just a run short while chasing a big target of 200 with commendable efforts.聽

Shaheen Afridi won the toss for Lahore Qalandars and elected to bat first at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. Both teams remained unchanged from their previous matches, thus coming into the big match with tested players. For Lahore, Mirza Baig and Fakhar Zaman returned to form and put in a crucial 38-run stand for the opening wicket. Baig smashed 30 off just 18 balls before getting caught out on Ihsanullah’s delivery in the fifth over.

Fakhar continued to add runs with a 57-run partnership with youngster Abdullah Shafique for the second wicket as the duo put the Qalandars on track for a big total. Usama Mir gave the Sultans the breakthrough they needed by picking up Zaman’s wicket in the 12th over, after he had scored 39 off 34 deliveries.

Shafique, however, managed to produce a brilliant fifty from the other end. He top-scored for Qalandars with 65 off 40 before getting out on Anwar Ali’s delivery in the 19th over. Usama Mir tried to contain Qalandars from scoring a big total with two more wickets but Shaheen played a captain’s knock by smashing 44* off just 15 balls with the help of two fours and five fifties to put a total of 200/6 on the board.

Chasing a big total, Usman Khan and Mohammad Rizwan smashed three fours off Shaheen’s first over to initiate the proceedings for Multan. The duo added a quick 41-run stand for the opening wicket. The South Africa-born veteran David Wiese gave Qalandars their first breakthrough with Usman’s wicket in the fourth over.

Rizwaan and Rilee Rossouw then pulled off an admirable stand of 64 runs for the second wicket. Rossouw smashed 52 off 32 deliveries as Sultans crossed the 100-run mark in just 10 overs. The top-ranked Afghan spinner Rashid Khan then came to the party and shifted the momentum towards Qalandars by dismissing both Rossouw and Rizwan in back-to-back overs.

Shaheen further put Qalandars in command with Kieron Pollard’s wicket in the 16th over and with three more wickets in the 18th over. But, Abbas Afridi and Khushdil Shah pulled 22 runs off Haris Rauf in the 19th over with two sixes and two fours. Finally, Zaman Khan defended 13 runs in the last over as Multan Sultans fell one run short of the target to finish as the second best side.

Here is how Twitter reacted to Lahore Qalandars’ win over Multan Sultans:

Shaheen Afridi doing Shahid Afridi things Mashallah 馃槶鉂わ笍 #MSvLQ
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09:17 PM 路 Mar 18, 2023

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10:10 PM 路 Mar 18, 2023

One word for Shaheen Afridi’s destructive cameo馃敟 #MSvLQ
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09:45 PM 路 Mar 18, 2023

Mohammad Rizwan in the Pakistan Super League this season: Runs 550 Inns 12 Ave 55.00 SR 142.85 HS 110* 50s 4 100 1 6s 14 #HBLPSL8
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11:14 PM 路 Mar 18, 2023

Ihsanullah goes for 24 runs in an over so Mohammad Rizwan gives him a hug – Simon Doull “you can’t let one over ruin it, that’s really good captaincy from Rizwan” #PSL8 #LQvMS
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09:22 PM 路 Mar 18, 2023

Rilee Rossouw is gone After a brilliant Fifty. He Didn鈥檛 like the send-off from Rashid Khan and LQ players. Well played, Rossouw 鈾ワ笍馃挴. #PSL8 #HBLPSL8 #PSL2023 #PSL08

10:54 PM 路 Mar 18, 2023

@thePSLt20 Shaheen Afridi’s 1st 2 Overs 34 without a wkt His last 2 Overs 17 runs 3 wkts. What a comeback 馃憦 馃憦馃憣馃檶

11:42 PM 路 Mar 18, 2023

Shaheen Afridi leading by an example鈥 40+ with bat which sky rocketed the score to 200 and 4 wickets with bowl when Sultans were chasing it well ! #PSL2023 #PSL08 #PSLFINAL #LQvMS #MSvLQ
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11:45 PM 路 Mar 18, 2023

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11:55 PM 路 Mar 18, 2023

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