Without a live audience, PSL matches are not that much fun. Online viewers and players themselves too, are missing the crowd chanting on every single four and six. Teams are missing the support of their fans to boost their morals. Coronavirus has badly effected the matches and real-life work as well.
Today’s nail-biting thriller contest was between the unpredictable Lahore Qalandars and this season’s elite Multan Sultans.
Lahore Qalandars decided to bowl first after winning the toss in this important game. They made a single change only in their last playing eleven squad. Muhammad Faizan is replaced by Farzan Raja. The Multan Sultans came up with many changes to the line-up, as they already qualified for the semi-finals. Usman Qadir, Bilawal Bhatti, Asad Shafiq, and Junaid Khan replaced some notable players of Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Irfan, Imran Tahir, and Shahid Afridi. They might be experimenting with their players for the bigger match
Multan Sultans lost their two early wickets each in the first two overs. Shaheen Shah Afridi bowled out Moeen Ali on his classic yorker. What a season is he having, a lot of praises for this young and enthusiastic bowler is coming from the entire audience. He gave Lahore Qalandars a perfect spot in their race to qualify for semi-finals. Right after few balls, Zeeshan Ashraf followed Moeen Ali into the dugout after getting caught on long-off by Hafeez bowling. This put Multan Sultans at their backfoot. Qalandars were clearly controlling the game by now.
But then Ravi Bopara along with Shan Masood stayed at the crease and batted steadily for a strong partnership of 75 runs of 67 balls. Change of bowling to Wiese worked for Lahore Qalandars and the skipper had to go back. And in the very next over of Wiese Bopara was also departed. Multan was stumbling at this point to make runs so Khushdil Shah proved to be their lucky charm. He played a blasting inning of 70 runs of just 29 balls. He clearly stole the show for today. Boundaries were hitting all over the ground. Fans would have gone mad if today they were present here at the stadium. This youngster has enjoyed the season with some very good knocks.
Multan came back in the game again with a total of 186 over the board. At least they put something defendable in front of Qalandars.
The energetic opening duo of Chris Lynn and Fakhar Zaman haunted a poor class Multan Sultans bowler’s squad, beating 72 runs in the first powerplay without a loss all through a 100-run partnership to chase a score of 187 runs as Lahore Qalandars sealed their first-ever knockout round position in the fifth season of the PSL by a nine-wicket amazing win. A raging half-century by Fakhar Zaman was trailed by Chris Lynn's match-winning ton, which is also the first-ever century scored in the five-year history of PSL tournament by a Qalandar’s batsman.
Qalandars started the season with a dull performance. The first three consecutive losses were followed by a spectacular revival driven in their fourth game by the brutal striking of Ben Dunk, which tunneled them out of the prison. The brilliances of Lynn and Zaman in their last regular match against Multan Sultans made sure that Ben Dunk's previous performances were not in vain. Coming back from a without wicket defeat by Karachi Kings in the last game, the opening pair seized the opportunity of Multan Sultans resting their several main bowlers after securing a place in the knockouts.
Earlier when in the opening match, these two sides faced each other, Imran Tahir was awarded Player of the Match for his two important wickets, on the other hand, Tanvir, Afridi, and Irfan also played their part in the match to seal the victory. The absence of these players was clear in the poor performance shown by the Multan Sultan’s bowler’s squad.
Well, Multan Sultans made to rest above mentioned players because they had sealed their place in the playoffs and also the first position in the league table already by winning their last game against Zalmi. Lahore Qalandars finishes with the third position on the table with ten points, therefore, they will play against their rivals Karachi Kings in the semi-final.