Rashid Khan anchors Lahore Qalandars to win with MOTM performance

Rashid Khan delivered an all-round performance to seal the deal for Lahore Qalandars as the Pakistan Super League 2021 returned to action in the UAE on Wednesday night.

In the first inning, Khan gave away only nine runs and picked a wicket in his quota of four overs.

Then he smashed 15 of the last 16 runs that were needed in the final over. Courtesy of his three consecutive four boundaries, the Qalandars chased down the 144-run target on the last ball.

Related: Everything you need to know about IPL 2021 resumption in UAE

On the flip side, Shadab Khan has been well criticised for giving the last over to Hussain Talat, who had not bowled a single over before the penultimate six balls.

When asked about this in the post-match interview, the young skipper said that he believed in Talat’s ability and will hand him the ball again if such a situation arises.

He explained that he did not bowl himself despite having one over of his quota left because of the dew factor from which medium pacers can make hay.

Nonetheless, Rashid Khan’s exceptional display with the bat and ball earned him the Man of the Match award in his only third game of the league.

Khan has been a game-changing addition to the Lahore squad as he has kept the economy tighter than any other bowler.

His economy of just over 2 in tonight’s contest has cemented his place as one of the best T20 assets in franchise cricket.

As the fans rate him highly, Khan also rates the PSL highly and feels that playing the league will improve relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan as well.

“All the players who have come from Afghanistan and are playing the PSL, this is a great opportunity for them to come and play alongside top players and to improve their own cricket. For all those Afghan youngsters who have not got an opportunity to play in other leagues, this is a great chance to prove that they have the skills and talent to play in top-level cricket,” Rashid said in a recent virtual interview.

“Playing cricket between two countries will increase the love and respect between players of both sides; Sports is all about bringing unity between countries.”

Related: When will Pakistan Super League season 6 resume?

“Unfortunately, I only played two games in PSL 6 and had to go away for national duty. Now I had the option to stay back in England and here I must appreciate Sussex for their help and understanding as I had to decide between missing five games with the county or playing a whole tournament like PSL which seemed like a better option, especially as the fans wanted me to play in the PSL,” Khan added.

Lahore Qalandars Squad

Fakhar Zaman, Sohail Akhtar, Muhammad Faizan, Mohammed Hafeez, Ben Dunk (wicket-keeper), Tim David, James Faulkner, Rashid Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Ahmed Daniyal, Haris Rauf

Islamabad United Squad

Colin Munro, Usman Khawaja, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Hussain Talat, Rohail Nazir (wicket-keeper), Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Wasim, Fawad Ahmed

 

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Shayan is a Pakistan-based sports blogger with over three years of experience in journalism and sub-editing of sports-related pieces.

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