PSL 2024 final: Islamabad players celebrate with Palestinian flag after win over Multan

Islamabad United snatch dramatic last-ball win to beat Multan Sultans by two wickets at National Stadium in Karachi

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Islamabad United were crowned Pakistan Super League champions after snatching a dramatic last-ball thriller to beat Multan Sultans by two wickets in the final in Karachi on Monday.

Several Islamabad players including captain Shadab Khan, Hunain Shah and Imad Wasim were seen waving the Palestine flag as they walked around the stadium thanking fans for supporting the team.

Young Hunain pushed the final delivery of the last over for a boundary towards backward point as Islamabad overhauled a modest 160-run target at the National Stadium.

Islamabad needed eight runs off the 20th over bowled by Mohammad Ali and Hunain's elder brother Naseem Shah hit a boundary off the second delivery but with a single needed off the last two deliveries he fell caught behind.

However, Hunain kept his cool to inflict a third successive PSL final defeat for Multan.

"It was a total team effort," said Islamabad captain Shadab, who was named player of the league after scoring 305 runs and taking 14 wickets. "We peaked at the right time in the league and that mattered in the end."

“The sign of a good team is they win even without playing a perfect game."

Islamabad's chase got a great start from opener Martin Guptill, stumbled in the middle, then got a great finish from Wasim, 19 not out, and Naseem, 17. Islamabad reached 163-8 to add to their two previous titles in 2016 and 2018.

Multan were restricted to 159-9 on a spinners' paradise after Islamabad allrounder Imad Wasim grabbed 5-23 and captain Shadab picked up 3-32.

"To pick a five-for in a final and to stay in [batting] during a crucial game, it was a new experience,” Wasim said. “We should have finished the game earlier rather than taking it down to the wire. I'm glad Hunain finished it.”

Multan were guided by a 40-ball 57 by Usman Khan and 26 by skipper Mohammad Rizwan.

Usman hit seven boundaries and a six but once he fell in the 16th over, Sultans lost five wickets for just 13 runs, slumping to 127-9.

It was Iftikhar Ahmed who revived the innings with a whirlwind 20-ball 32 not out with three sixes and as many boundaries, scoring 31 in the last two overs.

Islamabad were also derailed from 121-4 to 129-7 but Wasim guided late order batters with a calm 17-ball 19 to help them cross the finish line.

For the winners, former New Zealand opener Guptill top-scored with a 32-ball 50 with three sixes and four boundaries.

Azam Khan hit a 22-ball 30 with a six and four boundaries.

It was heartbreaking for Multan, who lost last year’s final to Lahore Qalandars by one run. Playing a fourth consecutive final, Multan won the group stage and was the favourite in the final.

“The match goes to the last ball, you can’t really point out any flaw,” Multan skipper Mohammad Rizwan said.

“Credit to Imad for picking a five-for and scoring those crucial runs. There were a few ups and downs in the batting, but they played really well. Congratulations to Islamabad. It was fun to play tonight in front of a packed house.”

Updated: March 19, 2024, 12:56 PM