AZHAR KHAN

LAHORE

Clinical Chris Lynn hammered 52-ball hundred to lead Lahore Qalandars to their maiden semifinal appearance in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 with a thrashing nine-wicket victory over high-flying Multan Sultans in an empty Gaddafi Stadium on Sunday.

Twenty-nine-year-old Lynn, who had displayed his hard-hitting skills in the recent Abu Dhabi T10 Tournament to walk away with man of the series award, maintained his fabulous form in the PSL as well and played some swashbuckling knocks for Lahore Qalandars and played crucial role in his side’s crucial victories. In his 55-ball 113 runs, he smashed eight sixes and 12 fours to help Lahore chase Multan’s 187 runs target.

“It’s great to get triple figures. I love playing in the day, but it was important to get to that semifinals after five years of trying,” Lynn said and added: “It was difficult playing in an empty stadium but you have to create your own energy when fielding.”

Lynn, who was also player of the match, crafted a blistering 100-run opening partnership off 54 balls with another opener Fakhar Zaman, which helped their side easily chase the required target in 18.5 overs for the loss of just one wicket. Fakhar struck his second half-century of the PSL 2020 as he slammed an impressive 35-ball 57 runs, laced with seven fours and two sixes.

Usman Qadir, son of legendary Pakistan leg spinner Abdul Qadir, got the only success in his maiden PSL appearance this season, when he had Fakhar stumped in the ninth over. After Fakhar’s departure, captain Sohail Akhtar joined Lynn and hit an unbeaten 19 to ensure the victory with seven balls to spare. Lynn continued to punish Multan’s bowlers all over the dial and landed his side home safely in 18.5 overs.

Earlier, left-handed batsman Khushdil Shah hit a strutting 70 runs off just 29 balls to help Multan post 186 runs on the board for the loss of six wickets in allotted 20 overs. Khushdil came to the crease, when Multan were struggling at 79-3 in 11 overs but his arrival steadied his side’s innings as he played sensibly and punished Lahore bowlers at his will, which also gave respectability to Multan’s total.

In his swashbuckling knock, Khushdil smashed fabulous five fours and superb six sixes. The 25-year-old showcased his batting prowess in the death overs as well as he thumped Haris Rauf for two and three maximums in the 17th and 20th overs respectively and dispatched Dilbar Hussain for three fours and a six in the 18th over as Multan piled up 77 runs in the last five overs.

Prior to Khushdil’s arrival at the crease, Shan Masood (42 off 29) and Ravi Bopara (33 off 36) knitted a 75-run stand to provide stability to Multan’s innings after the dismissals of their openers Moeen Ali (one off five) and Zeeshan Ashraf (two off three) in the first two overs. Lahore’s Shaheen Shah Afridi and David Wiese bagged two wickets each, while Mohammad Hafeez claimed one wicket.

It was just the second defeat in the tournament for Multan Sultans but despite the defeat, Multan Sultans finished the group-stage at the top of the points table with 14 points from six victories. Lahore Qalandars finished at the third place with 10 points – coming from five triumphs.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided to complete the PSL 2020 in empty stadiums due to the coronavirus outbreak. Lahore will also host both the semifinals tomorrow (Tuesday) and the final day after tomorrow (Wednesday) without fans at the Gaddafi Stadium at 7:00 pm. Multan Sultans will face former champions Peshawar Zalmi in the first semifinal on Tuesday at 2pm at Gaddafi Stadium, while Karachi Kings will play against home side Lahore Qalandars in the second semifinal at 7pm at Gaddafi Stadium.

 

 

Scorecard

 MULTAN SULTANS:

M Ali b Shaheen Shah Afridi..... 1

Zeeshan Ashraf c Sohail b Hafeez       2

Shan Masood b Wiese........... 42

R Bopara c Fakhar b Wiese.... 33

Khushdil Shah not out............. 70

Asad Shafiq run out................... 1

Rohail Nazir b Shaheen Afridi.. 24

Bilawal Bhatti not out.................. 1

EXTRAS: (b 4, lb 2, nb 1, w 5) 12

TOTAL: (6 wkts, 20 overs)..... 186

FOW: 1-2, 2-4, 3-79, 4-90, 5-91, 6-165.

BOWLING: Shaheen Shah Afridi 4-0-23-2, Mohammad Hafeez 4-0-22-1, Dilbar Hussain 3-0-37-0, SR Patel 1-0-13-0, Haris Rauf 3-0-50-0, Raja Farzan 2-0-11-0, D Wiese 3-0-24-2.

LAHORE QALANDARS:

Fakhar st Zeeshan b Usman Qadir       57

CA Lynn not out..................... 113

Sohail Akhtar not out............... 19

EXTRAS: (w 2)........................... 2

TOTAL: (1 wkt, 18.5 overs).... 191

FOW: 1-100

BOWLING:

Junaid Khan 4-0-36-0, Ali Shafiq 2.5-0-40-0, Bilawal Bhatti 3-0-41-0, MM Ali 1-0-17-0, RS Bopara 2-0-17-0, Usman Qadir 4-0-24-1, Khushdil Shah 2-0-16-0.

TOSS: Lahore Qalandars

UMPIRES: S Raza, A Dar

TV UMPIRE: Asif Yaqoob