The seventh season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) concluded on February 27. The final was played between defending champions Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars. Both teams came off stunning wins in playoffs. Sultans had beaten Qalandars in the Qualifier One by 28 runs. On the other hand, Qalandars bounced back against Islamabad United to win the game by six game, which thy looked like loosing at one stage.
On February 24, both teams had a chance to create history. The defending champions had a chance to defend the trophy for the first time in the history of PSL. On the other hand, Qalandars had the opportunity to register their name in the list of PSL trophy winners. Lahore had the advantage of playing in front of their home crowds. In such high stakes game, the hosts won the toss and elected to bat first.
They lost three early wickets of Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, and wicketkeeper-batter Zeeshan Ashraf at the score of 25. Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Ghulam (15) stitched a partnership of 54 runs before the latter was dismissed by Asif Afridi. At 79/4, it looked like Lahore fans once again will return homes with broken hearts.
However, half-century from Hafeez (69 off 46) and impactful finishing from Harry Brook (41 not out off 22) and David Weise (28 off 8) meant the team posted a healthy total of 180/5. Asif Afridi from Sultans was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets ,while David Willey and Shahnawaz Dahani took on each.
In reply, the Mohammad Rizwan-led side lost five wickets for 63 runs. However, the likes of Khushdil Shah (32 off 23) and Tim David (27 off 17) were not ready to give up. They fought a lost battle with a partnership 51 runs. Their wickets meant that the team was restricted to 138 all-out. With this, the Fawad Rana-owned franchise finally end their trophy drought.
Cricket is a game of gentlemen and the same spirit of the game was on display in the final. Despite losing the match, Mohammad Rizwan went to Shaheen Afridi and hugged him while congratulating the 21 year old for becoming the youngest captain to win a T20 tournament.