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Pakistan Super League final: Islamabad United beat Multan Sultans off final ball to win third title

Islamabad United celebrate beating Multan Sultans to win the 2024 Pakistan Super League
Islamabad United finished third in the initial group stage

Pakistan Super League final, Karachi

Multan Sultans 159-9 (20 overs): Usman 57 (40); Imad 5-23, Shadab 3-32

Islamabad United 163-8 (20 overs): Guptill 50 (32), Azam 30 (22)

Islamabad United won by two wickets

Scorecard

Islamabad United beat Multan Sultans in a final-ball thriller to win the Pakistan Super League and become the first team to claim three PSL titles.

Chasing 160, Martin Guptill made 50 to put Islamabad in control but he was run out to give Multan hope in Karachi.

Islamabad needed eight from the final over and Naseem Shah hit a four to leave three required off four balls.

Naseem was out off the penultimate ball with the scores level, leaving his brother Hunain to hit the winning run.

Multan scored 159-9 with Usman Khan making 57 and spinner Imad Wasim taking 5-23.

Islamabad's third title puts them one ahead of Lahore Qalandars, while Multan have now lost three successive finals since their only triumph in 2021.

Former England World Cup-winning spinner Alex Hartley was a part of Multan's coaching team, alongside ex-Ireland international Cath Dalton, who is the first woman to be a fast bowling coach in a professional men's team.

Islamabad hold nerve to make history

Islamabad, whose last title was in 2018, were superb in the field and restricted a Multan batting line-up that topped the group stages.

They thought they had Multan captain and Pakistan star Muhammad Rizwan in the first over but he survived because of a no-ball call.

Imad struck twice at the other end though and that meant Multan had to build patiently through Rizwan and Usman.

Islamabad captain and leg-spinner Shadab Khan removed Rizwan before he and Imad, who claimed the first five-wicket haul in a PSL final, squeezed Multan to restrict them to 127-9.

Iftikhar Ahmed smashed an unbeaten 32 off 20 balls to drag Multan up to a respectable total and give them hope.

Martin Guptill of Islamabad United plays a shot
Former New Zealand opener Martin Guptill scored 140 runs in three knockout matches for Islamabad United

Islamabad slipped to 55-3 and the required run-rate was climbing but Guptill and Azam Khan went through the gears to put their side in control.

Confusion between the pair meant Guptill, who made his second half-century in three innings, was run out and that allowed Multan to build pressure.

Three wickets in successive overs followed and that left Islamabad needing 31 from the final three overs.

Naseem hit Iftikhar for two boundaries and Imad took Chris Jordan for two more to put Islamabad within touching distance.

Another boundary off the second ball of the final over from Naseem took Islamabad closer but there was another twist with the youngster caught behind looking to pull Mohammad Ali.

It left Hunain needing a single from the final ball and he edged to the point boundary to spark jubilant scenes for the men in red.

It means Islamabad won five successive games to end their campaign and take a third title.

Multan have now lost successive finals off the final ball after a one-run defeat by Lahore in 2023.

'A great final' - reaction

Islamabad captain and player of the tournament Shadab Khan: "It's really tough for me to watch the match - it's easier on the ground. The sign of a good team is when they win without playing a perfect game.

"There was a lot of hard work and belief behind winning this trophy, so this trophy means a lot to us."

Man of the match, Islamabad all-rounder Imad Wasim: "It is my best ever tournament but I knew I needed to make an impact and I'm glad it went so well for me.

"To pick up five wickets and be there at the end was a new experience but I feel really blessed."

Islamabad opener Martin Guptill: "It was a great final for the fans to enjoy. A great night.

"I really enjoyed it, it was tough going but once you had momentum things started to flow quite easily. We were probably one partnership away from taking the game away."

Islamabad bowler Tymal Mills: "Most games have gone down to the wire. It is great to win a brilliant game in front of a packed crowd and to cap off an excellent tournament."

Multan Sultans captain Muhammad Rizwan: "If the match goes to the last ball, you can't really point out any flaws. Credit to Imad for taking five wickets and scoring those crucial runs. There were a few ups and down in our batting. Congratulations to Islamabad."

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