Multan Sultans vs Lahore Qalandars, Final
Lahore Qalandars won by 1 run
The trophy is presented to Shaheen who poses with it in front of the winners' cheque with his entire team behind him. It's party time for the Qalandars and this is bound to go on for a few more days you'd think. The players are having an absolute blast as they pose for the pictures. Right then, it's curtains to what's been another fantastic season of the Pakistan Super League. Fittingly, we got an absolute cracker to sign off the tournament. Hope you enjoyed our coverage throughout. On that note, this is Hari signing off on behalf of Abhinand and Harish. Cheers!
Batter of the tournament: Mohammad Rizwan
Bowler of the tournament: Ihsanullah
All-rounder of the tournament: Imad Wasim
Fielder of the tournament: Kieron Pollard
Wicketkeeper of the tournament: Rizwan
Emerging Player of the tournament: Abbas Afridi
Spirit of Cricket: Peshawar Zalmi
Umpire of the tournament: Alex Wharf
Shaheen Afridi | Player of the Match | Lahore skipper: To reach the final second time and win again is a great feeling. Credit to the entire team and coaching staff for keeping us comfortable. I think it was tough early on when the momentum was swinging between them and us. But the idea was to fight till the very end and it paid off. At that time, I felt like I should go to bat and was lucky to get a few in the slot. This win is for all those Pakistani people who seek joy in PSL. They deserved a game like this.
The winners medals are being presented to the entire squad of the Lahore Qalandars by the PCB Chief Najam Sethi.
Mohammad Rizwan | Multan skipper: There is always a pressure in finals. 200 is a big target but we had the batting to chase it down. We were on track but just couldn't finish the game. Credit goes to the entire team for getting us this far. Bowlers did their job when needed and the batters also performed to perfection. Lot of the special performers of the season were in my team. Only if we had got the title. But Shaheen and his boys played really well, and they deserve the title. It's an achievement to reach the finals and we've done it thrice in a row now. It's a great feeling.
Ihsanullah | Player of the Tournament: I am thankful to God for giving me this success. I have gained a lot of experience from playing in the PSL. Foreign players and senior players have taught me a lot. Rizwan has guided me a lot. I'd like to dedicate this to my father who supported me a lot.
Najam Sethi | PCB President: It's great to see the PSL 2023 season be a great success. It's a collective effort and I'd like to thank everyone involved. Including the police and security staff who ensured top security. Also would like to thank everyone else involved. Would love to thank the overseas players for coming over, even during hard times. Many people in the federal government who helped us to conduct the tournament smoothly. There are lot more names to talk that I don't know whom not to name. After a long time, we've seen such a great season in the PSL. We had to overcome so many obstacles but we managed to do so. Would like to thank each and everyone of you, without your support this wouldn't have been possible. Would like to thank all the franchises for their efforts in making this tournament a grand success.
The presentation ceremony kicks-off with the medal presentation. The umpires are being rewarded first and they do the thankless job day in and day out.
Sam Billings: That's what T20 cricket is about. Good pitch, what a game of cricket, what an advert for the game and great to be a part of. My first experience of cricket in Pakistan, certainly didn't disappoint. The noise today was something I haven't experienced in a long time. With any final, the game always tips the balance. The wicket of Rossouw was a huge moment and Pollard's catch as well. The game then twisted again, bit of a roller coaster, but you got to stay calm. Hope so (when asked if he'll play the next season). It's been amazing to be a part of this special group. Hopefully I'll be back to witness this crowd again.
Abdullah Shafique: We have defended the title, all credit to the team management, captain and the players. There was pressure to defend the title. The way our captain led from the front and backed us, it was awesome. Lucky to be part for this Lahore team. Very good (when asked about Shaheen's captaincy)
Zaman Khan: I was feeling the pressure, but my captain backed me. Shaheen told me not to worry even if we lost the game. I enjoyed bowling the final over and we won the match. Shaheen asked to me to bowl yorkers, but I knew that the batters will be expecting them and I slipped in a few slower balls. The management gave us a lot of confidence. They gave us a free hand and asked us to give our 100% on the field.
Shaheen Afridi: Second final, second win, credit to the entire team. It was a team effort. It went to the last ball but we didn't give up. We had the belief that we'd win the final. I couldn't pick early wickets but I was able to pick 3 crucial wickets and put my team on top.
Sikandar Raza: That's the way you play the sport. To be able to make history is unbelievable. We thought the wicket wasn't a 200 wicket. The way Shaheen and Abdullah batted in the end was brilliant ... to get us to 200. We knew one or two wickets, with the quality of Rashid, it's pressure on the opposition and runs on the board in the final plays a huge part. Eight different guys have won PoTM so it tells about the quality of the squad. All of us contributed. I remember us facing criticism because we were changing batting and bowling order but it's for this day that we were preparing. I'd love to come back here for the next season. The love and respect has been amazing.
David Wiese: I'm exhausted. Fortunately I wasn't the one bowling the last over. So many emotions going through in those last two overs, momentum switching both ways. In the end, we just did enough. We were saying the whole time the team that stays calm is going to win this game. When things didn't go our way, we just had to hang in there. I reminded the guys that we're never out of the game. I'm still learning, still enjoying the game. I am fit and contributing. As long as they have me, I'll be coming back.
The Lahore skipper had earlier set the stadium alight with a fiery 15-ball 44 to set up a grand finish in the Lahore innings. He did go for runs in the powerplay but came back when it mattered the most. Bowling at the death to two of the most dangerous finishers, Afridi showed his mastery as he nipped out Pollard and David to all but seal the game. The title seemed decided at that point but as they say, never say never in T20 cricket. Khushdil and Abbas Afridi got a few hits going and took it right down to the wire. From nowhere, the equation read 13 off 7 and it came down to 4 off the final ball despite Zaman's best efforts with the ball. He did well off the all-important final ball though, nailed the yorker and with a boundary needed, it was a mountain too high to climb for Multan. It needed some panic in the fielding from Lahore to allow a tie but their 'Guru' Wiese came to the party, like he so often did in this game. Calm throw under pressure and it had to be Shaheen to do the final act. What-a-game!! These are the kind of games that tournament finals deserve! Multan can be proud of the way they fought but there could be only one winner, right?
23:30 Local Time, 18:30 GMT, 00:00 IST: Phew! Let me just catch my breath!!! WHAT-A-GAME! A clash worthy of a finale and it's the Qalandars who have come out on the right side of it. Chasing 201 in a final is never easy but Multan were up to the task with a fiery powerplay. Usman set the ball rolling, Rossouw took the baton over and Rizwan held his end well as the chase seemed to be a stroll at one point. However, as many teams have found out, you are never really across the line until you win against this Lahore bowling unit. Rashid Khan started the slide by getting rid of Rossouw after having had a bout of mind games with him earlier. The leggie then took out Rizwan to really throw the game wide open. The required rate was still manageable though, and it was up to David and Pollard to do their finishing duties. But they ran into one man - Shaheen Shah Afridi!
MS: 199-8 after 20 overs
19.6Zaman Khan to Khushdil, out Khushdil Run Out!! 2 runs completed. Lahore seal a one-run thriller! They defend their title! Scenes!! Absolute scenes! One of the greatest T20 finals of all time without a shadow of doubt. What a climax! Yorker from Zaman to cap things, well bowled but somehow Khushdil manages to dig this through wide mid-on in the gap. Two is easy but three is what they need for a tie. They go for it, but it's that man again - Wiese - you can't win against him tonight. You just can't. With the title on the line, he fires a strong throw to the bowler's end. Shaheen comes up to the sticks and collects it cleanly even though the the throw is off-target. Keeps his calm and breaks the stumps does the Lahore captain, Khushdil is well short. Lahore win back to back PSL titles! What a team! Khushdil run out (Wiese/Shaheen Afridi) 25(12) [4s-3 6s-1]
Zaman Khan to Khushdil, THATS OUT!! Run Out!!
Aayush: "Has been a while ... we haven't had a super over. Hopefully we will get one today."
19.5 Zaman Khan to Khushdil, FOUR, misfield is costly! Overpitched, Khushdil stays calm and lofts cleanly over extra cover. What a shot under pressure. Four needed off the final ball
19.4 Zaman Khan to Khushdil, byes, 2 runs, total carnage out there! Another off-cutter, Khushdil slogs and misses. They scamper for a bye and an overthrow allows the second. Khushdil is back on strike