Islamabad United defeated Multan Sultans by four wickets to end the league stage of the Pakistan Super League on a winning note early on Sunday.
United and the Sultans had faced off against one another in match number 30 of the sixth edition of the PSL at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Cricket stadium.
Multan had given a 150-run target to Islamabad after facing a batting collapse in the first innings.
Multan’s Shahnawaz Dahani gave his side a breakthrough early in the innings after he dismissed Islamabad opener Muhammad Akhlaq in the fifth over.
Dahani, who then came to bowl in the seventh over, removed the other opener, Umar Amin to put United two down.
Muhammad Umar then removed Islamabad skipper Shadab Khan in the 13th over. But the captain had done enough damage to put United in command.
Asif Ali and Hussain Talat, who were on the crease, then further reduced the deficit for Islamabad and put the side in complete command by the end of the 15th over.
However, there was a twist in the tale in the 16th over, when Usman Qadir dismissed Asif Ali with Islamabad only needing 16 runs from the 24 balls.
Qadir also removed Brandon King in the 18th over to put Islamabad five down and give some hope to Multan.
The wicket-taking overs by Qadir meant that Islamabad required 8 from the last 12 balls.
Rizwan then went to his ace bowler Dahani. The pacer made sure that his team won’t go down without a fight and took the game to the last over of the match. In the last over, Islamabad needed 4 runs and were able to get those important runs.
Blessing Muzarabani took the wicket of set batsman Hussain Talat from the second ball of the last over to put United six down.
However, the Zimbabwean had too little to defend and Iftikhar Ahmed completed the win for Islamabad after he took one run from the second last ball of the match off a leg by.
With the run, Islamabad defeated Multan by four wickets and ended the league stage of the PSL as table toppers.
For Multan, Dahani and Qadir ended with two wickets, while Muzarabani and Umar took one wicket each.
Earlier, Islamabad bowled out Multan for 149 runs due to their bowlers’ excellent performance in the last 10 overs of the innings.
For Multan, openers Shan Masood and Mohammad Rizwan gave the side a brilliant start.
Masood completed his half-century after dispatching Shadab Khan for a six in the ninth over.
However, he was dismissed for 59 by Iftikhar Ahmed in the next over of the innings. He was also the highest run scorer for his side.
Till the end of the 11th over, it looked like Multan will be cruising to a huge total against Islamabad.
But Fawad Ahmed, bowled a double-wicket 12th over to remove Rizwan and Sohaib Maqsood. In the next over, Shadab removed Rilee Rossow to put Multan four down.
The loss of the three quick wickets tilted the game back in Islamabad’s favour. After the loss, Hammad Azam and Johnson Charles developed a good partnership to take their side to the end of the 20 overs.
But the Islamabad bowlers played spoilsport in their plans. Faheem Ashraf dismissed Azam with a caught and bowled from the last ball of the 17th over, whereas Mohammad Wasim removed Charles from the first ball of the 18th over.—Agencies