Lahore [Pakistan], February 28 (ANI): Lahore Qalandars skipper Shaheen Afridi expressed happiness after his side defeated Multan sultans in the summit clash of Pakistan Super League (PSL) at the Gaddafi Stadium on Sunday.
Qalandars defeated Sultans by 42 runs to lift their maiden PSL trophy in front of 27, 000 adoring Lahore spectators (houseful) at the Gaddafi Stadium.
"It's a great achievement. We have been waiting for 6 years and I want to thank the Lahore crowd. They have come out in numbers and supported us throughout," said Shaheen Afridi in a post-match presentation.
"A lot of people supported me, Hafeez guided me during a lot of pressure moments so thanks to all who supported me. The fight we showed as a team throughout the tournament is really fantastic and we had that attitude to fight till the last ball," he added.
Qalandars - losing finalists in HBL PSL 5, finished last in the first four seasons and fifth in HBL PSL 6 but chose the perfect setting to not only lift the trophy but also to pocket PKR 80 million while providing incredible joy and memories of a lifetime to their fans in their own backyard.
Batting second, Sultans were never quite in the hunt in their 181-run chase once their prolific opening partnership of Mohammad Rizwan (14) and Shan Masood (19) was dismantled.
Mohammad Hafeez (player of the match) who produced his best innings with the bat of the season in the all-important final made a telling contribution with the ball by bowling Rizwan before Fakhar Zaman produced a sensational bit of fielding to run out Shan after the opener was stranded in the middle of the pitch following a misunderstanding with his partner Aamer Azmat.
Fakhar, moments later, took a fine tumbling catch to end Aamer's (6) innings. Sultans kept losing wickets at regular intervals against some high octane Qalandars bowling. Tim David's dismissal for 27 courtesy another sensational catch by Fakhar on the first ball of the 17th over bowled by Qalandars talismanic captain Shaheen Shah Afridi finished the game for Sultans with Shaheen bowling David Willey (0) on the fourth ball of the same over with an unplayable yorker.
Khushdil (32) was dismissed by Haris Rauf in the next over while Shaheen castled Rumman Raees (6), Imran Tahir's (10) dismissal in the final over to David Weise sparked celebrations in the Qalandars dugout and the entire stadium. (ANI)