Sunday, 26 September 2021

Grant Elliott powers Lahore Qalandars to win


SHARJAH: Grant Elliott proved to be the show-stopper, as Lahore Qalandars revived their chances of reaching a home final in the HBL Pakistan Super League with a one-wicket win over Islamabad United. The New Zealand international hit Mohammed Sami for six with four balls left, then celebrated by pointedly dropping his bat, in the fashion of a performer intentionally dropping the microphone at the end of a triumphant show. Lahore had lost wickets off the previous two deliveries, but crucially Elliott had managed to get on strike when Aamer Yamin had been dismissed via a skied catch of the first delivery of the final over. It was only Elliott and Umar Akmal, who made 66, who provided any resistance against the United bowlers, but they did enough for their side to scrape a third win of the tournament, to force their way off the bottom of the table.

Defeat was harsh on Islamabad’s 18-year-old prospect Shadab Khan, who made 42 off 24 balls from No 7 in the batting order, then took two for 28 with the ball. Earlier in the day, it had been announced that the five franchises and the league’s organisers are in agreement the March 5 final should go ahead, as scheduled, at the Qaddafi Stadium in Lahore, despite last week’s bomb blast in the city. “It has been heart warming to see the dedication of all the owners to the cause of taking cricket back home,” said Najam Sethi, the PSL chairman. “There is the realisation this final will be the first step in opening the gates to international teams starting to make the journey again. “We are all committed to this mission, and wish to have a thoroughly entertaining final where it should happen – in Lahore.”

Despite his display on the field, Elliott was actually humble when the dust settled.

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