SHARJAH: AB de Villiers hit a blistering half-century as Lahore Qalandars defeated Multan Sultans by six wickets in a thrilling match of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday.
De Villiers and his former South Africa teammate David Wiese tore apart the Multan bowling in the final five overs to take Lahore home.
While De Villiers brought Lahore within nine runs of victory in the final over, it was the lanky Wiese who smashed Dan Christian over long-off on the final delivery for a six to seal the victory.
Lahore, chasing a daunting 201-run target, needed 70 off the last five overs with De Villiers fired up by vociferous chants of “AB, AB”.He changed his shot from a slog sweep towards fine-leg to left hander and guided fast bowler Junaid Khan over the third man boundary for a marvelous six in the 18th over. That shot was made possible on a free hit after Junaid overstepped, while dismissing Wiese in the 18th over.
That spoiled Junaid’s figures to 3-39 in four overs after he dismissed Lahore’s top-scorer Fakhar Zaman, Salman Butt and Agha Salman.
Fakhar hit three sixes and seven boundaries for his 35-ball 63. Butt scored 17, while Salman (2) was dismissed early.
De Villiers and Wiese hit a six each off West Indies’ Andre Russell in the penultimate over to bring down the target to just nine off six balls but Christian conceded six off the first five balls as tension mounted.But Wiese kept his nerves to hit the winning sixer.
De Villiers finished with unbeaten 29-ball 52, hitting three sixes and as many boundaries, while Wiese scored an undefeated 20-ball 45 with five sixes.The pair added 98 runs for the unbroken fifth wicket stand.
“I am pleased for my team,” said Lahore skipper De Villiers. “I took my time and Wiese took pressure off me and it was a nice partnership. We were under pressure after ten overs but we showed a great attitude.”
Multan skipper Shoaib Malik said the match was a treat for the spectators.“Of course, it doesn’t feel good to lose but its cricket,” said Malik. “Yes, you learn a lot from every match. It was a great treat for a holiday crowd.”
Earlier, Multan Sultans batted ruthlessly to post the sixth 200 plus score in all PSL as Vince knocked a fiery 41-ball 84 with seven boundaries and six hits over the ropes. Debutant Umar Siddiq hit 38-ball 53 with two sixes and four boundaries to take their team to a commanding 200-6.Multan were without star all-rounder Shahid Afridi, who is nursing a knee injury.