Brendon McCullum, the Lahore Qalandars skipped, commented that he was surely not satisfied with the team’s results this season, following a five-wicket defeat against Karachi Kings which left Lahore on the brink of missing out of the playoffs for the second year running.
Lahore’s chances of progressing to the knockouts now depend on Islamabad United defeating Karachi by a heavy margin on Sunday, and the turn of events left McCullum ruing that the team had fallen behind during the tournament’s clutch moments.
McCullum lauded Karachi allrounder Kieron Pollard who struck two sixes off the last two balls of the match to seal the win. Karachi had needed 14 off the final over and 10 off the last two balls, before seamer Aamer Yamin was dispatched for sixes on either side of the wicket by Pollard.
Lahore have had a few impressive performances from some of their younger Pakistan players and senior hands like Yasir Shah and Sunil Narine. Fakhar Zaman has been the top run-getter for the side with 177 runs, while 21-year-old seamer Mohammad Irfan jnr has emerged as a future prospect. Yasir and Narine have taken 19 wickets between them, with the Pakistan legspinner keen to show his value in limited-overs cricket, while Sohail Tanvir has taken 10 wickets and played a couple of useful cameos in the lower order.
“It was a wonderful match again. We have been involved in some cracking matches in this tournament. We have won some, and lost some as well. I think we have played entertaining cricket throughout, but when it comes down to in, in a couple of key moments, we ran second.
Obviously, Kieron Pollard is an incredible player. What he delivered at the end was something pretty special. Overall I was really happy with the efforts of the guys, and you never know what will happen tomorrow. In the end, it was a great game to be a part of.
This game can be so fickle. It can turn on one or two balls. As long as the guys keep turning up, and are proud of the team they are playing for, they leave everything they have got out on the field. They buy into team plans, and play with the pride we want to be known for, then the results you can’t control, to a degree, but you can control the effort you put out.
I’m really proud of each individual. When we picked this team in the draft this year, we wanted to pick a group of guys who were good people, who would play for a common cause. I think that is what we have had. Yeah, we haven’t necessarily had the results, but that mantra of what the Lahore Qalandars want to be known for is something we have tried to play for this year.”