A brilliant comeback by Islamabad United with the bat and then with the ball helped them trounce Lahore Qalandars in match number 20 of the sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Sunday.
Islamabad United had given a 153-run target to Lahore Qalandars after they chose to bat first when they won the toss.
At the beginning of the chase, Lahore was cruising to victory when Sohail Akhtar and Fakhar Zaman had opened the innings for their team and taken Lahore to 55/0. But Fawad Ahmed bowled Qalandars captain for 34 on the last ball of the powerplay.
Zeeshan Ashraf then followed his skipper to the dugout after five balls. He was run out due to a mix up between him and Zaman.
With the fall of the wicket, Lahore were 58/2.
Then a double-wicket over by Mohammad Musa started to turn the tide in favour of Islamabad.
Musa, in the 11th over, dismissed Mohammad Hafeez and Ben Dunk and only gave two runs to bring his side back in the game.
Veteran Mohammad Hafeez was caught at point by Hussain Talat off and Ben Dunk was dismissed after he edged a ball to the wicketkeeper.
When Musa was asked again to bowl the 13th over, he took the crucial wicket of Zaman. The opener was caught when he tried to hit for a six at third man.
After Musa, Shadab bowled the 14th over and took two the wickets of Tim David and Rashid Khan to expose Lahore’s tail.
In 14th over, Shaheen Shah Afridi and James Faulkner were sent back to the pavilion. The dismissals put Lahore at 100/9 at the end of the 15th over.
At that point, the Qalandars required 53 runs from 30 balls while Islamabad need one wicket to win. And United made sure there were no twists in the tale by taking Lahore’s last wicket at the second ball of the 18th over to wrap up the game.
The win has propelled Islamabad United to the top of the table and pushed Lahore to the number 2 spot.
Apart from Musa’s three, Fawad and Shadab took two wickets each and Ali took one wicket for United.
Earlier, a record-breaking 123-run partnership between Asif Ali and Iftikhar Ahmed took Islamabad United from 20/5 to 152/7.
Shadab was hoping that his openers would give his team a flying start but the Qalandars bowlers did not allow them to get away.
Shaheen Shah Afridi dismissed Usman Khawaja with the third ball of the match.
The United opener was hoping to flick the ball towards midwicket but instead, he edged the ball to Qalandars wicketkeeper Ben Dunk.
Later, James Faulkner took the wickets of Rohail Nazir, Colin Munro and Hussain Talat to put Islamabad at 20/4 at the end of the powerplay.
After Shaheen and Faulkner’s magic with the ball, Haris Rauf decided to join the party. Rauf took the wicket of Shadab to push United at 20/5.—Agencies