Shah Nawaz Powers Sultans Past Qalandars into Final

Just when Fakhar Zaman was threatening to take the game away from them, Multan Sultans took a strategic timeout. Shah Nawaz Dahani, who was going to bowl the over that resume to play at a roaring instructions by fast bowling coach Ottis Gibson. An animated Sultan captain Mohammed Rizwan was taking consultations from the head coach Andy Flower and spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmad. Discussions in that 3 minute break turned the game back in favor of the holders taking them into Sunday’s final and silencing the capacity crowd rooting for the Qalandars.

A wicket fell in each of the nexr six overs bowled by Shahnawaz, David Willey and Rumman Raees as the Qalandars, chasing 165, slumped from 99-3 in the Qualifier on the Wednesday night. It was Shahnawaz who engineered Qalandars downfall. His sharp inswinger caught Harry Brook plumb in front of the wicket.

The next over Willey sent back Fakhar, the leading run-scorer this season to all but end Qalandars hopes. Having restricted Fakhar and Smait Patel to singles off the first four deliveries, Willey’s length delivery struck the former on the pads as he went for a big pull.

With Qalandars needing to go all out, Phil Salt went when he mistimed Shahnaqaz to Aamer Azmat at deep midwicket.

Patel was next to one to fall with Shahnawaz taking a sharp catch off Willet, also ar deep midwivker.

Shahnawaz returned with a perfect Yorker to smash the isle stump of Qalandars captain Shaheen Shah Afridi, who had forced a super Over against Peshawar Zalmi with hid superb hitting in the final game of the round robin stage.

The end was nigh for Qalandars and Rumman Taees had David Wiese lbw in the second-to-last over, leaving Qalandars needing 36 off the last six balls.

Haris Rauf hit a six off the first delivery of the final over off Shahnawaz but repeating that off the next five was too much to ask for. For a title showdown against Sultans, that will have to win Friday’s match against the winners of Thursday’s eliminators.

Sultans 28-run victory margin was a flattering one especially after Fakhar had the Qalandars’ tails up before the timeout.

Having lost opener Abdulllah Shafique earlt in their chase, the Qalandaes were rocked in the space of six deliveries as Kamran Ghulam was run our and Mohammad Hafeez went for a duck, stumped by Rizwan off Khushdil Shah. The Sultan seemed to have tightened the leash around the Qlandars, but Fakhar broke loose.

Shaheen gave away just one four in the penultimate over which saw Rizwan complete his half-century before Haris came back strongly to restrict the Sultans to singles only after the first ball of the final over was hit to the long-off fence by Rossouw.

It was difficult pitch and we know if we will get 150 that it was a total we could defend, Rizwan said in a statement. The conviction ultimately took them thought as they look to become the first repeat winners of the HBL Pakistan Super League.


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