• Islamabad snatch victory from AB’s Qalandars

    Defending champs Islamabad United won the opening match of the Pakistan Super League against AB de Villiers’ Lahore Qalandars by five wickets and with just four balls in hand in Dubai.

    Fakhar Zaman (65 off 44 balls, S/R 147.72) and Sohail Akhtar (37 off 30, S/R 123.33) put on 97 for the first wicket in just over 10 overs to get the Lahore Qalandars off to a great start. Islamabad fought back with some great bowling to put the squeeze on the Qalandars middle-order batsmen.

    AB de Villiers (24 off 17, S/R 141.17) and AP Devcich (14) kept the impetus going, but the loss of De Villiers’ wicket in the 16th over saw the run rate stutter.  The Qalandars ended on 171-8 off their 20 overs, a decent score, but far from impenetrable.

    Faheem Ashraf (4-0-24-2, econ 6.00), Waqas Maqsood (4-0-25-1, econ 6.25) and Cameron Delport (2-0-12-1, econ 6.00) were the pick of the bowlers for Islamabad.

    Islamabad started their chase strong and kept the momentum going throughout the innings, but it was the middle-order contributions from South African Cameron Delport (24 off 21), Hussain Talat (37 off 30), Asif Ali (36 not out off 19, 2×4, 3×6, S/R 189.47) and Faheem Ashraf that saw their side through to the win.

    Player of the Match Ashraf finished the match with a six with four balls to spare, ending undefeated on 23 off 11 balls (2×4, 2×6, S/R 209.09) to add to his two wickets with the ball.

    Rahat Ali would have run Ashraf close for the Player of the Match honours after picking up 4-29 from his four overs (econ 7.25), as well as taking a catch off Carlos Brathwaite to ensure he had a hand in all five wickets to fall in the Islamabad innings.


    Photo: Cricingif (Twitter)

    Post by

    Simon Lewis