Lynn posts hundred, set to head home from PSL
Stunning knock powers Qalanders into the semi-finals but Australian is set to head home due to coronavirus uncertainty
16 March 2020, 07:25 AM AEST
Opener Chris Lynn has smashed a 52-ball century to propel Lahore Qalandars to their first Pakistan Super League semi-finals appearance, while defending champions Quetta Gladiators exited the Twenty20 tournament despite beating Karachi Kings.
Lahore, who thumped the table-topping Multan Sultans by nine wickets in an empty Gaddafi Stadium on Sunday, face Karachi in the last four. Multan will meet 2017 champions Peshawar Zalmi in the other semi-final.
Lahore will host both semi-finals on Tuesday, and also the final on Wednesday, without fans present due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In reaching his century, Lynn smashed eight sixes and a dozen fours against a second-string Multan bowling attack.
He finished unbeaten on a career-best 113 off 55 balls as Lahore breezed to 1-191 in 18.5 overs in reply to Multan's total of 6-186.
"It's great to get triple figures ... it was important to get to that semi-final after five years of trying," Lynn said.
"It was difficult (playing in an empty stadium) but you have to create your own energy when fielding."
In the hours following the match, Lynn took to social media to explain he would be heading home due to concerns over the coronavirus.
Thoroughly enjoyed my time at the @thepsl unfortunately in these circumstances I’ve chosen to head home, I’ve always said there is more to life than cricket and this is certainly one of these cases. I have full faith in the @lahoreqalandars to go all the way but more importantly have fun lads! Thank you to everyone involved, Pakistan you have been a blast 😁😁😁 A post shared by Chris Lynn (@lynny_50) on
"Thoroughly enjoyed my time at the PSL," Lynn wrote on Instagram. "Unfortunately in these circumstances I've chosen to head home, I've always said there is more to life than cricket and this is certainly one of these cases.
"I have full faith in the Lahore Qalandars to go all the way but more importantly have fun lads! Thank you to everyone involved, Pakistan you have been a blast."
Lahore finished in third place with 10 points, a point behind Karachi. Lahore won three of their last four matches by chasing down targets of 180-plus in a remarkable turnaround of form after losing three in a row at the start of the tournament.
They had finished last in all four previous editions of the PSL since 2016.
Shaheen Afridi (2-23) and David Wiese (2-24) shared four wickets between them, but Khushdil cut loose in the last five overs against fast bowlers Haris Rauf, who conceded 50 runs in his three overs, and Dilbar Hussain (0-37).
Lynn and Fakhar Zaman (57) blazed a 100-run opening stand from only 54 balls after Multan rested four frontline bowlers – Mohammad Irfan, Sohail Tanvir, Shahid Afridi and Imran Tahir – ahead of their match.
Usman Qadir, son of the late Pakistan leg-spinner great Abdul Qadir, had Fakhar stumped in the ninth over.
But Lynn continued to hit out with ease and won by smashing two successive sixes against fast bowler Ali Shafiq, who ended up with 0-40 off his 2.5 overs.
It was just the second defeat in the tournament for Multan, who ended the league stage on top with 14 points.
In Karachi, Shane Watson (66) scored his only second half-century in this season's PSL as Quetta beat the hosts by five wickets after reaching 5-154 in 16.2 overs.
Khurram Manzoor, playing his first game for Quetta, scored an aggressive 63 and shared a 118-run stand for the second wicket with Watson after Ahmed Shehzad again failed with the bat and was out for a duck in the first over.
Earlier, Cameron Delport made 62 off 44 before Karachi were restricted to 5-150 as young paceman Naseem Shah returned from an ankle injury and took 2-17 off his four overs.