The Lahore Qalandars won the first match of the HBL Pakistan Super League 8 against Multan Sultans by just one run, which was a thrilling finish. Multan Sultans were chasing a target of 176 runs and needed 49 runs off the last five overs. At that stage, they were in a strong position with experienced batsmen Mohammad Rizwan and David Miller at the crease, and seemed on course for a comfortable win.
But the Lahore Qalandars’ pacers, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf, produced an outstanding spell of death bowling. Shaheen gave away only 16 runs in two overs (16th and 18th), and bowled Rizwan with a slower ball. Haris Rauf was equally impressive, giving away only four runs in the 17th over and removing Miller with a perfect yorker at the start of the 19th over.
Although Kieron Pollard, who was playing for Multan Sultans in the match, hit Haris for a six and a four towards the end of the penultimate over, which added 14 runs for his side, they still needed 15 runs in the final over to win. Shaheen Shah Afridi trusted Zaman Khan, who had bowled exceptionally well in the previous season, to defend 12 runs in the last over.
In a dramatic final over, Pollard was run out while attempting a risky second run, and Usama Mir was also run out on the fourth ball. Khushdil Shah hit a boundary on the second-last ball to bring the equation down to six runs off one ball, but he failed to connect with the final ball, and it raced away for a four. As a result, the Multan Sultans fell just one run short of the target, and Lahore Qalandars emerged victorious.
Earlier in the match, Lahore Qalandars’ opening pair of Fakhar Zaman and Mirza Tahir Baig gave the team a solid start, adding 61 runs before Tahir was dismissed. Fakhar continued to score at a brisk pace and hit five sixes and three fours in his 42-ball 66, which earned him the Player of the Match award. Hussain Talat played a brief but crucial cameo in the lower middle-order, smashing 20 off 12, and Sikander Raza made an unbeaten 19 off 14.
In summary, it was an exciting match that featured some exceptional bowling by the Lahore Qalandars’ pacers and some explosive batting by Fakhar Zaman. Ultimately, the Lahore Qalandars held their nerve in the tense final overs and won the match by one run.