Billings, Shafique power Qalandars to 180/9 against Sultans

LAHORE: Sam Billings’ magnificent half-century and Abdullah Shafique’s 48-run knock powered home side Lahore Qalandars to a commendable 180/9 against Multan Sultans in the 20th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season eight.

Opting to bat first, the Qalandars posted a decent total on the board at the back of a vital third-wicket partnership between Billings and Shafique.

Earlier, the hosts got off to a dismal start as their in-form opener Fakhar Zaman perished for a duck in the first over.

Following the early setback, Tahir Baig stitched a crucial partnership with Abdullah and launched a counterattack on the Sultans’ bowlers as they added 50 runs at a quick pace before Ihsanullah dismissed the latter, who could score 17 off 11.

Abdullah then joined hands with newly-arrived Billings and stitched another vital partnership for the Qalandars.

The pair raised 69 runs for the third wicket and put Qalandars in contention for a big total before Kieron Pollard removed in-form Abdullah with a stunning caught and bowled. He fell just two runs short of his half-century as he scored a 35-ball 48, laced up with six boundaries and a six.

Billings carried his brilliance with the bat and soon brought up his half-century but Pollard struck again in his next over to bring an end to his brilliant knock. Billings top-scored with 54 off 35 deliveries, hitting six boundaries and two sixes.

The Qalandars then began to lose wickets at regular intervals but the Sultans’ bowlers failed to stop the flow of runs as some vital contributions from Sikandar Raza (14), David Wiese (15) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (9) took the side to 180 in their allotted overs.

Anwar Ali, Ihsanullah, Pollard and Abbas Afridi bagged two wickets each, while Sameen Gul could pick up a wicket.

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