In their first outing of the 5th HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) at Gaddafi Stadium on Friday night, sensitive knocks by captain Shan Masood and Rilee Rossouw inspired Multan Sultans to a five-wicket victory over Lahore Qalandars.
Set to score 139 for victory, Multan Sultans crossed the target in 16.1 overs for the loss of five wickets, consigning the Qalandars to another defeat in their inaugural PSL match. They ended up at the bottom of all four previous editions.
Shan Masood played 38 off 29 balls of methodical innings, studded with four fours and a six. Shahid Afridi (21 off 12 balls) gave a late flourish to the innings.
As fellow opener James Vince (18) and one-down Moeen Ali (11) went out cheaply to Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez with a total of 43 in 4.5 overs, Shan stood firm after his side endured early jolts.
Shan steadied the ship with able support from Rilee Rossouw, putting together a partnership of 42 for the third wicket.
The Sultans skipper was clean with pacemaker David Wiese in his first over with a score of 85. The side lost two quick wickets at 116, as Haris Rauf, the latest pace sensation, had in both of them. He ran out of Zeeshan Ashraf first, and then ended Rossouw’s dogged innings, having him caught for 32 by Chris Lynn.
Shaheen Afridi dropped Rossouw on the preceding delivery at the boundary line and conceded a six in the deal. The dismissal of Rossouw brought in Shahid Afridi who hammered a six and two fours to seal the fate of the Qalandars.
Shaheen Afridi (1-18), Haris Rauf (1-40) and David Wiese (1-11) were the wicket-takers for Lahore Qalandars.
Earlier, the Qalandars started flying after being beaten by Chris Lynn and Fakhar Zaman, who opened up 59 runs in just 5.2 overs. But they lost their mojo in the middle of the innings and were limited to a modest 138 for eight out of 20 overs.
Both openers had fallen prey in the sixth over to off-spinner Moeen Ali. Lynn’s twinkling knock of 39 out of just 19 balls came to an end when Shan Masood caught him. His innings were riddled with four fours and three sixes.
Fakhar (19 out of 14 balls) followed suit and in the eighth over Ben Dunk was running out cheaply.
Qalandars had more shocks than Imran Tahir had taken back-to-back wickets. He first counted Mohammad Hafeez’s prize scalp (14 out of 22 balls) and then bowed Dane Vijas (19 out of 14 balls). Qalandars then struggled at 100 for five in 13.4 overs.
Emerging pacer Mohammad Ilyas added to their misery by taking two fast wickets, reducing them for six to 104. Nevertheless, Sohail Akhtar kept his composure as wickets fell behind him.
With an unbeaten knock of 34 off 30 balls he lent respectability to the tally, bludgeoning two sixes in the last over of the innings bowled by Sohail Tanvir.