Lahore Qalanders 146 for 9 (Umar Akmal 66, Elliott 26*, Raees 3-26) beat Islamabad United 145 for 8 (Shadab 42, Yamin 3-17) by one wicket
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
In a nutshell
Mohammad Sami found out today exactly how Dale Steyn felt after that 2015 World Cup semi-final at Eden Park as Grant Elliott smashed Sami into the stands over long-on to seal a sensational one-wicket win for Lahore Qalandars over Islamabad United.
In a game during which Brendon McCullum's side looked beaten for much of the chase, Elliott hung around, much like he had that fateful Auckland night, nearly running out of partners. Off the second ball of the last over, with his side nine wickets down, the 37-year old grabbed his chance as Sami missed his length on an attempted yorker and Elliott seized on a full length ball in response to give Lahore two points they desperately needed.
Lahore would have been expected to chase down the target of 146 much more comfortably, but they ran into trouble early on. With McCullum still struggling badly and the rest of the batting lineup faring no better, Islamabad looked like they would scrap out an unlikely win. Umar Akmal stood between them and victory, showcasing the form that made him the leading run scorer of the PSL last year with 66 off 42 balls to take Lahore within touching distance. A Sunil Narine cameo - he hit two sixes in his five-ball innings - and steely nerves from Elliott took them over the finish line.
In truth, Islamabad didn't have enough runs to defend, as no batsman in the top six crossed 20. Poor umpiring decisions didn't help, with Dwayne Smith and Misbah given out incorrectly, and at 83 for 6 in the 14th over they were in danger of being bowled out. But emerging players Shadab Khan and Amad Butt forged a plucky 53-run partnership for the seventh wicket, taking Islamabad to a total they so nearly defended.
Where the match was won
That Umar has a lot of talent must be the most oft-repeated claim in Pakistan cricket over the last decade, and the fact he fails to justify it so often has led to a lot of cynicism around the assertion. But anyone watching this match would have seen the truth behind the cliché.
In an innings where his teammates couldn't find the middle of their bats if someone handed them a flashlight, Umar went about the chase by combining grit with awesome power-hitting. He came to the crease with his side at 29 for 2, and was dismissed lbw with the score at 110. To get a sense of how his innings single-handedly kept Lahore in the chase, consider this: of the 81 runs Lahore scored while Umar was at the crease, he made 66. Elliott's last-ball six only happened because he was standing on the shoulders of Umar.
The men that won it
Aamer Yamin, playing his first game this season, was outstanding in the Powerplay: skidding off the surface and tailing into the right-handers to cramp them for room. It particularly flustered Rafatullah Mohmand, who played a strange innings in any case, being dropped twice before he was caught on the third offering during his 13-ball 16.
Brad Haddin too fell victim to a Yamin inswinger, failing to adjust his feet as he inside edged a swipe that knocked over his leg stump. Even though Yamin was lucky to dismiss Misbah - replays showed he had missed a ball the umpire believed he had edged - there was nothing fortunate about his performance, which figures of 4-0-17-3 illustrated effectively.
The moment of the match
The Lahore innings began with an absorbing mini-narrative as McCullum searched for his lost form, trapped between his instinct to hit every ball out of the stadium and his desire not to be dismissed cheaply again. It included a riveting cat-and-mouse affair between the former New Zealand captain and the in-form Sami, who understood exactly what the batsman wanted to do, following him down the leg side whenever he tried to free his arms.
Normally such a sweet timer of the ball, McCullum seemed to flail at a number of deliveries he was nowhere near to. It was one of the odder innings of his career - he made 11 at a strike rate of 61.11 - and even his most devoted fans might have been slightly relieved when it came to an end, as he drilled a slower ball straight into mid-off's lap.
Where they stand
Lahore surge to second in the table after this last-wicket win, bumping Islamabad United down to third. Both sides have six points, but McCullum's men boast a slightly superior net run rate.