|| CF DESK ||
Lahore Qalandars took their first-ever Pakistan Super League (PSL) title on Sunday at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore as Shaheen Afridi’s side beat last edition’s winner Multan Sultan by 42 runs in the PSL 7 final.
Former Pakistan allrounder Mohammad Hafeez starred in Lahore's triumph as the 41-year-old scored a fighting 46-ball 69 to guide Qalandars to 180-5 after they won the toss and batted before a packed 30,000 Gaddafi stadium.
Hafeez then chipped in with wickets of in-form opener Mohammad Rizwan (14) and Aamer Azmat (six) to bowl the defending champions for 138 in 19.3 overs.
Once the league's eternal wooden spoon -- finishing last in the first four editions before reaching the final in 2020 -- Qalandars finally completed the set of winners. All six teams have now won the league.
Islamabad United won in 2016 and 2018, Peshawar Zalmi in 2017, Quetta Gladiators in 2019, Karachi Kings in 2020 and Sultans (2021) last year.
When Shan Masood was run out by a direct throw from Fakhar Zaman for 19 Qalandars had got rid of the prolific rival opening pair and sensed they can win.
From 63-5, Tim David (27) and Khushdil Shah (32) gave the champions hope, but Qalandar skipper Shaheen Shah Afridi sealed the win with wickets of David and David Willey (nought) to finish with 3-30.
Shaheen finished as top wicket-taker in the league with 20.
The winners get a glittering trophy and a purse of 500,000 US dollars while Sultans received a runners-up purse of 200,00 dollars.
Earlier, Hafeez struck nine boundaries and a six during his knock, lifting Qalandars from a struggling 25-3 during a fourth wickets stand of 54 with Kamran Ghulam (15) and another 58 for the next with Harry Brook who made a fiery 22-ball 41 not out.
Brook, who smashed three sixes and two fours, took 77 in the last five overs with David Wiese partnering through his eight-ball 28 not out, spiced with three sixes and a boundary.
Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi were the two other teams to qualify for the play-offs while Kings and Gladiators bowed out in first round.