Rizwan, Sohaib seal maiden win for Multan Sultans

By AZ Aamir

KARACHI: Mohamamd Rizwan and Sohaib Maqsood hit fine fifties while Carlos Brathwaite and Shahnawaz Dhani did well with the ball as Multan Sultans recorded their first win when they downed Lahore Qalandars by seven wickets in their third round fixture of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 here at National Stadium on Friday.
Set to score 158, Rizwan (76) and Sohaib (61*) shared 110 runs off 67 balls for the third wicket stand as Multan achieved the target with 22 balls to spare after losing three wickets. This is also a record third wicket stand of Multan Sultans in the PSL history.
Earlier, Carlos Brathwaite (2-20) and Shahnawaz Dhani (2-39) did well to restrict Lahore to 157-6. After losing two early wickets, Rizwan and Sohaib batted with perfection, managing some superb shots to pull-off a well-crafted win.
Rizwan, dropped on 55, brought in his fifty off 27 balls, his second fifty of the event and third of his PSL career. This is also Rizwan’s highest total in PSL. He hammered 12 fours in his 49-ball knock before being removed by Shaheen Afridi, held by Haris Rauf in the deep when he had brought his side very close to win.
Sohaib, who survived on 29, brought in his fifty off 34 balls, hit two sixes and seven fours in his 41-ball unbeaten feat. This was the first fifty from Sohaib in this event and third overall in his PSL career.
Earlier Multan received an early blow when Shaheen Afridi in the first over of the innings clean bowled Chris Lynn (0) who once again failed to click as the Australian batsman has scored just two runs in three innings in this event.
Samit Patel soon afterwards removed the danger man James Vince (5) to leave Multan at 30-2 in the fourth over. 
Shaheen Afridi was the pick of the bowlers with 2-29 in his quota of four overs. Samit Patel got 1-26 in three overs.
Earlier Mohammad Hafeez (60) struck his second successive fifty of the event and eighth of his PSL career to enable Lahore Qalandars to pile-up 157-6 after being invited to bat in hot conditions.
Hafeez hammered five sixes and three fours in his 35-ball knock to play a major part in Lahore’s total. Hafeez got run out, when Samit Patel sent him back when the English all-rounder played a ball of Usman Qadir towards cover. Carlos picked it up and threw it to Usman who broke the stumps, with Hafeez finding himself short of his crease. Hafeez’s fifty came off 27 balls.
After losing two early wickets, Hafeez added 89 off 55 balls for the third wicket stand with English batsman Joe Denly who hit 29-ball 31. Denly smacked two sixes off Usman Qadir and two fours in his good effort before being removed by Carlos Brathwaite when the right-hander edged him to keeper Rizwan. 
After being invited to bat, Carlos provided an early breakthrough to Multan when he got rid of Sohail Akhtar (7) off his first ball of his spell, held at short mid-wicket by Usman Qadir while going for a pull. Sohail, who is yet to play a major knock in the event, faced 12 balls and hit one four.
In the next over Shanawaz Dhani removed Fakhar Zaman with a splendid delivery that took a thin edge of the left-hander’s blade with Rizwan holding an easy catch behind the stumps. Fakhar hit 11-ball nine with one four and Lahore were reeling at 17-2 in the fifth over.  Hafeez and Denly then did the work to boost the total. Ben Dunk’s (1) poor run with the bat in the event continues, falling cheaply to Usman Qadir.
David Wiese (13) tried to make some quick runs before being removed by Dhani, held in the deep by Carlos after striking one six and one four from eight balls.
Samit Patel, who was dropped in the end, remained not out on 26 for which he faced 20 balls, striking two fours and one six. Sohail Khan (0-24 in 4) also made a good effort and particularly he bowled a very tight last over.
Lahore scored just 25 runs in power-play. Their fifty came in 8.4 overs, 100 in 12.5 overs and 150 in 18.6 overs. In the last five overs Lahore scored just 45. Rizwan was adjudged as man of the match. 
This was the first loss for Lahore in three games. Earlier, Lahore brought in Joe Denly and Salman Mirza in place of Afghanistan’s leggi Rashid Khan, who has left for joining national duty, and Agha Salman. Multan made one change in the squad which lost the last game against Zalmi by bringing in Sohail Khan in place of Sohail Tanvir.  Ahsan Raza and Faisal Afridi supervised the match. 

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