Lahore Qalandars qualified for their second PSL final by defeating Islamabad United in a topsy-turvy Eliminator 2 on Friday night.
The Qalandars had to thank their veteran allrounder from Namibia, David Wiese, for the win. The 36-year-old first scored 27 runs from the final over to significantly beef up Lahore’s score 168 before bowling a bomb of a final over in the second innings, conceding zero runs and picking up two wickets to seal the match.
Buoyed by the victory but fully aware that they face a juggernaut in the final, Lahore tried hard to somehow fly back ace spinner Rashid Khan from Bangladesh. However, their efforts did not bear any fruit as logistical problems came in the way.
The Qalandars will be without their head coach Aqib Javed in the final as he hasn’t recovered from his bout from Covid.
Multan Sultans were the first team to qualify for the playoffs and also the first to make the final. Their direct route saved them from playing any extra matches and so they’ve had several more days of rest than Lahore.
The defending champions would, of course, know all about Lahore as they defeated them in their last game – Qualifier 1 – to seal final berth.
Sunday’s final will be Multan and Lahore’s fourth meeting of this tournament. So far, Multan have a 2-1 edge this season but it would mean nothing if they lose the all-important final.
Multan will be sweating over the fitness of their former Lahore star Tim David, who contracted the coronavirus a few days earlier and even missed their last match – a win over Lahore.