Chasing 201 for victory, Multan left themselves needing 35 from the last two overs. But when Abbas Afridi and Khushdil Shah took the 19th, bowled by Haris Rauf, for 22, the game was on
Lahore: Lahore Qalandars 200-6, Multan Sultans 199-7 - Lahore Qalandars won by 1 run
The Pakistan Super League season came down to its final delivery.
Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans played out an epic finale at the Gaddafi Stadium, as the defending champions just about held their collective nerve to retain their crown.
Chasing 201 for victory, Multan left themselves needing 35 from the last two overs. But when Abbas Afridi and Khushdil Shah took the 19th, bowled by Haris Rauf, for 22, the game was on.
And it was left to emerging player Zaman Khan - the 21-year-old from the north of Pakistan - to finish the job.
Lahore Qalandars players celebrate a Multan Sultans wicket in the 2023 PSL final [Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images]
Rilee Rossouw celebrates a half-century for Multan Sultans in the 2023 PSL final [Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images]
Zaman was picked off for four by Khushdil, and a moment of madness from the young seamer gave Multan two byes when he missed the chance of a run out from no more than two yards, leaving the Sultans required a boundary from the last ball of the tournament.
Khushdil pulled to wide long-on, and as the Multan pair attempted to come back for a frantic three that would have taken the game to a super over, Zaman completed the run out to cue wild celebrations among the Qalandars' players, staff and fans.
Remarkably, it was the same result as the first game of the 2023 PSL.
Earlier, Abdullah Shafique had been the anchor in Lahore's formidable total. Shafique made 65 from 40 deliveries to maintain the Qalandars' momentum after Mirza Baig (30 from 18) had given his side a fast start.
The champions' middle order did not offer the same sort of support, however, with Sam Billings, Sikandar Raza and Ahsan Hafeez all going for single-figure scores.
And in the end it was the critical intervention of Shaheen Shah Afridi which swung the match in the Qalandars' favour.
Lahore Qalandars players Abdullah Shafique, left, and Shaheen Shah Afridi in action in the 2023 PSL final [Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images]
Rilee Rossouw in action for Multan Sultans in the 2023 PSL final [Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images]
Shaheen elevated himself to No.6 and proceeded to play with intense aggression, making 44 not out from 15 balls, five of which went for six, to take his team to 200.
In among the madness, Usama Mir shone with the ball for Multan, returning figures of 3 for 24 from three overs.
In reply, Multan were going well with Rilee Rossouw and Mohammad Rizwan at the crease. Rossouw in particular appeared to be timing the ball superbly and had passed 50 before the halfway mark.
Indeed, with the Sultans sitting on 105 for 1 midway through the 11th over, the PSL trophy seemed destined for Multan hands.
However, the South African was bowled by Rashid Khan - the first of the Afghanistan's two wickets for 26 - and when Rizwan followed to the same bowler two overs later, the balance of power had shifted.
Kieron Pollard (19) and Tim David (20) were not able to inject impetus through the second half of the innings, leaving Khushdil with the burden of seeing Multan to victory with the tail.
That task became increasingly difficult after Afridi claimed three wickets in the 18th over, and from 146 for 3 Multan had collapsed to 166 for 7.
Enter Abbas Afridi; the drama; and the noise.