Dubai: The cricketing rivalry between Lahore and Karachi is a subject of folklore in Pakistan cricket. If the legendary Imran Khan, Wasim Akram or Rameez Raja carried the legacy of Lahore, the feisty Javed Miandad or Shahid Afridi represented the best of Karachi.
If there were any sense of regret that neither of the T20 franchises named after the two cities have been able to win the Pakistan Super League title so far, it’s going to end when Lahore Lahore Qalandars take on Karachi Kings in their first face-off in a final in the fifth edition in Karachi on Tuesday.
The play-offs of the PSL got underway from Saturday - eight months after it came to a grinding halt on March 15 when one of the overseas players was suspected of being a COVID-19 case. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had intially decided to award the winner’s trophy on the basis of how the teams finished in the standings, but later decided to finish the four matches of the business-end of the tournament after the T20 World Cup (which was later called off) in November.
While Karachi made the final by winning the first qualifier on Saturday, South African allrounder David Wiese steered Lahore Qalandars to a 25-run win over Multan Sultans in Eliminator 2 late on Sunday night at the National Stadium in Karachi to take them to final.
In the high stakes game on Sunday evening, Multan won the toss and asked Lahore to bat, Wiese topscored with a breezy 21-ball 48 not out (5x4s, 3x6s) to propel his team to a competitive 182 for six wickets in 20 overs. For Multan, veteran Shahid Afridi bagged two wickets.
Wiese captured three wickets for just 27 runs in four overs with his gentle medium pace to stop Multan for 157 in 19.1 overs. Opener Adam Lyth was the topscorer with 50. Three of Lahore’s fast bowlers did the damage with Haris Rauf capturing three wickets while Dilbar Hussain and Shaheen Afridi took two wickets each.
Wiese won the Man of the Match award for his allround performance. He capped his batting and bowling efforts with a stunning good catch, of Rilee Rossouw off Rauf, under the floodlights.
‘‘(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 PSL, for the record, had started on February 20 and 30 matches were played until mid-March 15 when the tournament was stopped due to the pandemic.
Brief scores: Lahore Qalandars 182 for six wickets in 20 overs (David Wiese 48 not out, Fakhar Zaman 46, Tamim Iqbal 30, Samit Patel 26, Shaid Afridi 2/18) beat Multan Sultans 157 all out in 19.1 overs (Adam Lyth 50, Khushdil Shah 30, Shan Masood 27, David Wiese 3/27, Haris Rauf 3/30, Dilbar Hussain 2/29, Shaheen Afridi 2/36) by 25 runs.
Catch the match
Lahore Qalanders vs Karachi Kings
National Stadium, Karachi
Start: 7 pm UAE