KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — David Wiese’s brilliant all-round performance lifted Lahore Qalandars into its first Pakistan Super League final with a 25-run victory over Multan Sultans in Sunday’s eliminator.
Wiese made a blistering unbeaten 48 off 21 balls which propelled Lahore’s total to 182-6 after Multan skipper Shan Masood won the toss and chose to field.
Wiese, a South African fast bowler, grabbed 3-27 including the key wicket of Adam Lyth, who was out for 50. Wiese also took a brilliant overhead catch at long off to dismiss countryman Rilee Rossouw as Multan stumbled to 157 all out in 19.1 overs.
“(We were) fortunate to bat first so that we could sum up the conditions quickly,” Wiese said. “It wasn’t a pitch where we could blow them away so change of pace was important, but length was also important.”
The fifth edition of Pakistan’s premier Twenty20 tournament will see a new winner on Tuesday when Lahore takes on hosts Karachi Kings. Fast bowler Mohammad Amir lifted Karachi to its first Pakistan Super League final after his team beat Multan Sultans in a super over on Saturday.
“I know it’s going to be a massive game,” Wiese said. “Would have been awesome to have a packed house but everyone in Lahore is going to be supporting us. I think we’ve got one more push in us.”
The PSL playoffs had to be rescheduled with no fans after being postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Lahore, which finished last in the previous four editions of PSL, knocked out 2017 champion Peshawar Zalmi in the first eliminator on Saturday before ending table-topping Multan’s dream of its first appearance in the final.
Veteran leg-spinner Shahid Afridi’s economical four-over spell of 2-18 had restricted Lahore to 115-5 in 15 overs on Sunday before Wiese cut loose. Samit Patel made 26 off 16 balls, but it was Wiese’s clean hitting that gave Lahore 67 runs in the last five overs.
Wiese smashed left-arm fast bowler Junaid Khan for two sixes and two fours in the 19th over before smacking Sohail Tanvir for two sixes off the last two balls to provide a late flourish to Lahore’s innings.
Lyth provided Multan with a rollicking start of 47 for its first wicket off 26 balls, smashing Pakistan’s top fast bowler Shaheen Afridi for 26 runs off his first two overs. Lyth, who was dropped on 35 by Fakhar Zaman, fell to Wiese when Zaman made amends and caught the Yorkshireman at deep midwicket in the ninth over.
Ben Dunk (3) couldn’t show his batting prowess, but the Australian was impeccable behind the wicket and held onto four sharp catches as Multan lost its last eight wickets for just 55 runs.
Fast bowler Haris Rauf took 3-30, which included clean bowling Shahid Afridi with a brilliant yorker.
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