Multan Sultans thrashed Lahore Qalandars in the 14th clash of the Pakistan Super League 2024 with the season’s biggest victory of 60 runs here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday night.

Multan Sultans gave 215 runs target to Lahore Qalandars to get their first win of the PSL-9 but the home team were in total disarray and just mustered 154 runs in 17 overs. As Usman Khan was the star with the bat for Multan, Usama Mir shone with the ball, taking six wickets to tighten the noose on Qalandars who lost their sixth match of the PSL on trot.

In the upcoming clash of the PSL culminating the Lahore-Multan leg, Karachi Kings will meet Islamabad United at the National Stadium Karachi today (Wednesday).

With Sahabzada Farhan and Fakhar Zaman taking the guard, Lahore Qalandars were off to a solid start, manufacturing 54 runs for the opening wicket. But the fall of Fakhar in the sixth over initiated Lahore’s collapse and at 56, Farhan also lost his wicket. Fakhar made 16-ball 23 and Farhan 21-ball 31 while hitting three and four boundaries respectively in their innings.

Rassie van der Dussen, who made a brilliant century just the other day, held the Qalandars hopes after having dropped on a couple of occasions only to see wickets tumble at the other end. At 89, Kamran Ghulam lost his wicket for just 12 runs, followed by Sikandar Raza (17) at 107, then Shaheen Shah Afridi was the fifth Qalandar to cave in at 120 by the 13th over.

After Shaheen, Dussen too did not last long at the wicket losing his wicket at 131 after making 30 in 22 balls. George Linde and Carlos Brathwaite paired up to overcome the deficit but Linde became the third victim of Usama Mir at Qalandar’s 132 while at the same score Jahandad Khan was the eighth Lahore’s loss and Usama’s fourth scalp.

Brathwaite and Salman Fayyaz (8) together made 20 runs but Usama Mir was on fire taking his fifth wicket leaving Qalandars struggling at 152 by the 16.2 over. And with the addition of just two runs to Lahore’s score, Usama terminated whole of their rivals batting line-up. Brathwaite remained not out at 14.

Usama in his feast became the first spinner to have taken six wickets in the Pakistan Super League conceding 40 runs. Besides, Faisal Akram snared two wickets while Khushdil Shah and Aftab Ibrahim shared one wicket each.

Taking the crease, Multan Sultans manufactured 214 while heavily relying on a heavy-hitting batting by Usman Khan. Usman was also an architect of a 70 runs partnership for the second wicket with Reeza Hendrick, who before heading back to the pavilion punctuated 40 runs in 27 balls with six fours and a six. It was followed by a 77-run stand for the third wicket alongside Tayyab Tahir, who produced 21 runs in 14 balls. Finally, a 61-run contribution for the fifth wicket pairing up with Iftikhar Ahmed, who remained not out at 40 that came in 18 balls, helped by two fours and three sixes.

Usman-Iftikhar partnership was broken with the fall of former batter who failed to complete his century and fell short of four runs to his hundred. Usman’s 96 came in 55 balls laced with 11 fours and two sixes.

Iftikhar and Khushdil Shah further shaped the score for Lahore to achieve. Both these batters remained not out. Shaheen Shah Afridi chipped in with two wickets while Carlos Breathwaite and Sikandar Raza had success with the ball with one wicket each.

Multan Sultans made the decision to limit their overseas player count to two in their match against Lahore Qalandars on Tuesday due to injuries affecting three of their foreign players.

The featured overseas players in the lineup are Reeza Hendricks from South Africa and Usman Khan from the UAE, while English players Dawid Malan, David Willey, and Chris Jordan are sidelined due to niggles.

Although the Pakistan Super League (PSL) regulations stipulate a minimum of three foreign players in the playing XI, the Multan Sultans management sought and obtained approval from the PCB event technical committee to field only two overseas players. Meanwhile, Sultans won the toss and opted to bat first.

It was the final game of PSL 9 in Lahore. The home team, Lahore Qalandars, met table-toppers Multan Sultans. The defending champions against the 2021 champions. Lahore Qalandars have been involved in some exhilarating contests but victory has eluded them on all occasions. It was almost a do-or-die situation for them while Multan Sultans ended the Multan-leg with a resounding win over the Gladiators and have got a formidable team.

The PSL cricket extravaganza now moves to Rawalpindi and Karachi with the latter also hosting the final of the tournament at the National Stadium on March 18. The first leg that had two stages – one Lahore and second Multan, overall hosted eight matches at Lahore alongside the opening ceremony while Multan held five games. Another 20 matches will be played in the next round with Karachi hosting 12 including the qualifiers, eliminator and the final while Rawalpindi conducting eight.

Of the six participating teams, Multan Sultans are the table toppers with five wins and a loss to have 10 points. Their only loss was against Peshawar Zalmis.

Quetta Gladiators with three wins and a loss have played four matches and they were defeated by Multan Sultans to have six points.

Similarly, Peshawar Zalmis have six points from their five encounters, have three wins and two losses that came against Karachi Kings and Quetta Gladiators.

Karachi Kings are fourth on the table with two wins and a loss from their three games to have four points. Islamabad United are fifth on the table with two points from one win and three losses as they played four matches. And at rock bottom are the defending champions Lahore Qalandars having enjoyed defeats in all the six games it has played.

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