Teenage left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi recorded the most economical bowling figures in the history of Pakistan Super League to steer Lahore to their first win in this year’s edition with a seven-wicket victory against table toppers Multan Sultans in Dubai on Friday.
The 17-year-old pacer from Federal tribal areas knocked the formidable Multan Sultans’s batting with figures of 5-4 in 3.4 overs as Multan was derailed from a steady 92-1 to 114 all out in 19.4 overs.
Gulraiz Sadaf (27) and Brendon McCullum (35 not out) lifted Lahore to the target in 18.4 overs to give Lahore one more chance of staying in the league, still need to win all their remaining three matches to qualify for the playoffs.
Once Lahore were set a target of 115 they were wary of another batting collapse. They were given a brisk 34-run start by Fakhar Zaman (16) and Anton Devcich (22) but three wickets fell in the space of eight runs to spark fears of another collapse.
But Sadaf and McCullum ensured the win is at last achieved through their 51-run unbroken fourth-wicket stand, much to the relief of a huge fan base back in Pakistan.
Multan Sultans still top the table with nine points but Islamabad United can overtake them if they win against Peshawar Zalmi later Friday. Quetta Gladiators are second with eight points while Karachi Kings are fourth with seven points.
In a desperate attempt to win, Lahore made four changes from the last game bringing in recently arrived Mitchell McClenaghan, Sohail Akhtar, Gulraiz Sadaf, and Shaheen. They replaced Dinesh Ramdin, Imran Khan Junior, Salman Irshad and Aamer Yamin. Multan Sultans brought back Junaid Khan in place of Umar Gul who took six wickets in the last match but had fitness issues.
Young Shaheen, who took eight wickets on his first-class debut, derailed Multan with a burst of five wickets off just 14 balls. Multan were sitting pretty on 92-1 in the 13th over before losing their last nine wickets off just 22 runs in the space of 42 balls.
Kumar Sangakkara (45) and Ahmed Shehzad (32) had put on a rapid 61 for the opening wicket. Sangakkara, who hit six boundaries and one six in his 30-ball knock before he was caught off-spinner Sunil Narine. Once Shehzad and Sohaib Maqsood 916) — the only three to reach double figures — were gone the slide started.
Afridi had Shoaib Malik (nine), Ross Whiteley (nought) and Saif Badar (nought) off four balls before wrapping up the tail to record the most economical bowling in the PSL history.