Cricket

Usama, Usman script a huge win for Multan Sultans

By our correspondent
LAHORE: Multan Sultans cruised to a 60-run triumph against the home team Lahore Qalandars after a clinical performance with the bat and ball on Tuesday night at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.

Sultans rode on the brilliant batting performance of Usman Khan, player of the match, and wizardry of Usama Mir who rewrote history books with his six-wicket haul to bag their fifth win. Qalandars have now lost six games on the trot in the HBL PSL 9.

Lahore Qalandars opening batters, Sahibzada Farhan and Fakhar Zaman, brought up 50 runs on the board in five overs before Fakhar’s (23, 16b, 3x4s) stumps were castled by pacer Aftab Ibrahim.

In the following over, Sahibzada departed for 31 off 21 balls courtesy of Khushdil Shah.. Wrist-spinner Faisal Akram, making his HBL PSL debut, was introduced into the attack and took no time to bag his maiden wicket as he outfoxed Kamran Ghulam (12, 9b, 2x4s) on the fifth ball of the 10th over.

Sikandar Raza then launched an assault on Usama’s first over, hitting two consecutive sixes and amassing 16 runs.

Faisal returned to put an end to Sikandar’s (17, 7b, 2x6s) cameo with Reeza Hendricks pouching the ball at deep midwicket. Shaheen, walking in to bat at six, smoked his third ball for a maximum only to be stumped two balls later for just nine off five balls with the scorecard reading 120-5.

Lahore Qalandars lost their last five wickets for a mere 34 runs as Usama wreaked havoc with the ball. The collapse began with Rassie van der Dussen (30, 22b, 1×6) holing out to Rizwan at deep midwicket where the Multan skipper took a brilliant catch.

A ball later Usama dismissed George Linde, who returned for five off seven balls, while Jahandad Khan copped a golden duck leaving Usama with a hat-trick chance. Carlos Brathwaite tried his best to bail out Lahore from crisis as he took 13 off the 16th over but Usama returned to dismiss Salman completing his maiden T20 five-wicket haul. Three balls later Usama wrapped up the Qalandars’ innings as he dismissed Zaman Khan for a solitary run leaving Brathwaite stranded on an unbeaten 14 off 7 balls.

Usama, with his haul of six for 40, reaped the best bowling figures for a spinner in HBL PSL history. He also became the only spinner in the tournament’s history to bag six wickets in an innings. Faisal returned with two wickets while Aftab and Khushdil bagged one each.

Earlier, Multan Sultans won the toss and opted to bat first. Shaheen Shah Afridi struck in his first over to remove Mohammad Rizwan, for a five-ball duck, with a magnificent delivery that came back to crash into stumps as the batter attempted a drive.

Usman Khan, playing his second HBL PSL 9 game, joined Hendricks on the crease and the duo started scoring fluently. By the end of the powerplay, Sultans had posted 53 runs on the board for the loss of one wicket.

The second-wicket partnership lasted for 46 balls in which Hendricks and Usman amassed 70 runs before Hendricks (40, 27b, 6x4s, 1×6) was dismissed by Sikandar Raza courtesy of a sharp catch behind the wickets by Sahibzada Farhan.

Despite the fall of the wicket, Usman kept the run flow intact, with 14 runs coming off the 10th over, as Sultans racked up 94-2 at the halfway mark. In the following over he brought up his second HBL PSL fifty off 31 balls.

Tayyab Tahir raced to a 14-ball 21 before falling to Brathwaite on the last ball of the 15th over, after stitching a 77-run third-wicket partnership with Usman. Iftikhar Ahmed walked in and went all guns blazing as his onslaught against Shaheen in the 18th over, which yielded 21 runs off the back of two sixes and one four.

Sultans crossed the 200-run mark with style as Iftikhar hit a huge six over deep midwicket against Jahandad on the fourth ball of the penultimate over. Usman was denied his second HBL PSL hundred by Shaheen as he fell for 55-ball 96 in the last over.

Iftikhar’s blitz with the bat yielding an unbeaten 40 off 18 balls meant that Sultans finished with a strong total of 214-4 in the allotted 20 overs.

Shaheen bagged two wickets while Brathwaite and Raza returned for one each.

Scores in brief:

Multan Sultans beat Lahore Qalandars by 60 runs

Multan Sultans 214-4, 20 overs (Usman Khan 96, Iftikhar Ahmed 40 not out, Reeza Hendricks 40; Shaheen Shah Afridi 2-39)

Lahore Qalandars 154 all out, 17 overs (Sahibzada Farhan 31, Rassie van der Dussen 30; Usama Mir 6-40, Faisal Akram 2-25)

Player of the match – Usman Khan (Multan Sultans)

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