Raza celebrates maiden Pakistan Super League title

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Sikandar Raza celebrating with the Pakistan Super League trophy

Zimbabwe cricket team allrounder Sikandar Raza capped off a successful stint in the Pakistan Super League after his side Lahore Qalandars beat Multan Sultans by one run in a thrilling final on Saturday to secure back-to-back titles.

Raza, who made some important contributions for his team during their impressive run, becomes the second Zimbabwean to win the PSL title, after Blessing Muzarabani did it with the Sultans in 2021.

Although Raza scored one run for his Lahore Qalandars side in the Pakistan Super League final his side went on to win by one run in a nail-biting match.

Needing four off the last ball, Khushdil Shah was run out attempting a third run to force a super over as Sultans finished on 199-8 in Lahore.

Qalandars captain Shaheen Shah Afridi took 4-51 after smashing 44 off 15 balls to help his side post 200-6.

Qalanders also beat Sultans in last year’s final.

“We reached the final again and won the title for a second time so that’s a reward for teamwork,” said Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen.

“We played well in the final but it was a tense win.”

After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Qalanders reached 95-1 before losing four wickets for 17 runs, including the dismissal of Zimbabwe star Raza.

Shaheen then launched a stunning onslaught, hitting five sixes and two fours to boost his side to an imposing total, building on Abdullah Shafique’s 65 off 40.

In their response, the Andy Flower-coached Sultans raced to 105-1 in reply before leg-spinner Rashid Khan bowled Rilee Rossouw for 52 off 32 and removed Mohammad Rizwan for 34 off 23.

Shaheen returned for his second spell to dismiss Kieron Pollard, Tim David, Anwar Ali and Usama Mir, leaving Sultans needing 35 off the last 20 overs.

Khushdil and Abbas Afridi smacked 22 from Haris Rauf’s 19th over, but Zaman Khan kept his calm in the final over, with Shaheen completing the run-out on the final ball to secure victory.

 

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