LAHORE: Table-toppers Lahore Qalandars put another fantastic performance on Saturday night at the Gaddafi Stadium to defeat Multan Sultans by 21 runs.
Sam Billings’ maiden half-century of the season and Abdullah Shafique’s 48 helped Lahore Qalandars to 180 for nine after which a splendid show with the ball, in which Rashid Khan stood out with three for 15, restricted Multan Sultans to 159 for seven.
Lahore Qalandars lost Fakhar Zaman on only third ball of the match after Shaheen Afridi elected to bat. Abdullah made his intentions clear from the first ball as he drove Sameen Gul down the ground for a boundary.
The right-hander has been in good touch this season and his bat continued to ooze runs as he added 50 runs for the second wicket with Mirza Tahir Baig (17 off 11) and 69 for the third with Billings in an innings of 35 balls in which he smashed six fours and a six.
Billings smashed six fours and two sixes in his 35-ball 54 before he became Kieron Pollard’s second wicket. The all-rounder had caught and bowled Abdullah earlier. Anwar Ali, Ihsanullah and Abbas Afridi also took two wickets each.
Multan Sultans had a slow start to the run chase than they would have liked and they faced first blow in the seventh over when Shaheen took a brilliant catch to send back Shan Masood (19 off 20) off Zaman Khan. They sent in Usama Mir at one-drop, but that gamble did not pay off, as the leg-spinner could only muster 17 off 11 – hitting one six and a four.
Mohammad Rizwan was trapped in front by Sikandar Raza in the 10th over, but the actual turning point came when Rashid dismissed Usama and David Miller in a span of four balls in the 11th over. The leggie bowled Rilee Rossouw in his next over – 13th of the innings – to reduce Multan Sultans to 87 for five.
Pollard did put up a show with the bat towards the end, but by then, it was all too late. The West Indian hit three sixes and two fours in his 39 off 28.
Rashid finished with incredible figures of three for 15
Scores in brief:
Lahore Qalandars 180-9, 20 overs (Sam Billings 54, Abdullah Shafique 48; Kieron Pollard 2-16, Anwar Ali 2-21, Abbas Afridi 2-25, Ihsanullah 2-33)
Multan Sultans 159-7, 20 overs (Kieron Pollard 39, Mohammad Rizwan 30; Rashid Khan 3-15)
Player of the match – Rashid Khan (Lahore Qalandars).