PSL 2023: Pollard, Cottrell Stars as Ruthless Multan Sultans reach third successive final – Match Report

Multan Sultans came up with a flawless performance to hammer Lahore Qalandars en route to their third successive PSL final. After putting up 160 on the board in the first qualifier, Multan defended it with ease by bowling out Lahore for just 76 inside 15 overs.

Multan got off to a steady start in the powerplay after Mohammad Rizwan fetched two boundaries in the first over.

A watchful Usman Khan broke loose in the fifth over by hammering three boundaries as Multan made 46 in the first six overs, a welcome change to what we have been witnessing in Rawalpindi in the league stage.

But with the runs drying up, a frustrated Usman chopped one back onto his stumps, following which Lahore seized control.

Rilee Rossouw made only 13 after facing 12 deliveries and a well set Rizwan was bowled by a Rashid Khan googly for 33.

After 15 overs, Multan only had 97 on the board and were badly in need of a big finish.

Kieron Pollard, renowned for being a big-match player in the T20 circuit, delivered at the ideal juncture as he joined forces with Tim David at the death to add some vital runs.

Pollard hit Shaheen Afridi for a six and followed it up with another big one off Haris Rauf to inject momentum.

Quite stunningly, he took on Shaheen again in the penultimate over of the innings to smash him for three sixes that also brought up his fifty.

While Haris bowled an excellent final over, conceding just six, Multan still had a fighting 160 on the board.

That total already appeared daunting with the Lahore top-three failing to reach double digits. Sheldon Cottrell removed Mirza Baig and Abdullah Shafique in a single over before Anwar Ali castled Fakhar Zaman to stun the home side. 19/3 quickly became 28/4 when Shaheen’s promotion failed to yield dividends this time.

Things became worse by the halfway mark as Pollard came into the attack and got the big fish Sikandar Raza after Hussain Talat got run out in the same over. After ten overs, Lahore were 44/6 and needed a miracle to script a crazy turnaround.

That miracle never arrived on expected lines as Usama Mir joined the party to bag two wickets as Lahore got bowled out for a mere 76 with 33 balls still left in the innings. While Multan sealed their spot in the final, Lahore will get another crack at making it as they now await the winner of the first eliminator.

Brief scores: Multan Sultans 160/5 in 20 overs (Kieron Pollard 57, Mohammad Rizwan 33; Haris Rauf 3/34) beat Lahore Qalandars 76 in 14.3 overs (Sheldon Cottrell 3/20, Usama Mir 2/12) by 84 runs

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