PSL-5: United down Qalandars in a cliff-hanger
LAHORE: Islamabad United snatched one wicket win from the jaws of defeat as Lahore Qalandars floundered despite Mohammad Hafeez’s power-packed innings and Shaheen Shah’s four wicket haul in the seventh match of the Pakistan Super League-5 on Sunday night.
Showing a great team work, Islamabad captain Shadab Khan, Dawid Malan and Colin Ingram laid the foundation of win, whichwas shown light by their following batsmen and even their tail played its part in the nail-biting win.
The match which Islamabad turned in its favour time and again was reverted to an opposite direction on as many occasions by Shaheen with his four for 18. But Islamabad’s last standing batsmen Muhamamd Musa (17) and Ahmed Safi Abdullah (8) overhauled the score.
Needing nine in the final over bowled by Usman Shanwari, Musa smashed a six on the first ball and later completed the score with singles to return to the pavilion with his partner as heroes. Islamabad lost their opening match to Quetta but won against Multan Sultans and then got their second win against Qalandars. Lahore Qalandars which were humiliated by Multan last Friday failed yet again despite convincing 182 for six on board and allowed Islamabad achieve 183 for nine in 19.5 overs.
Islamabad were hoping their openers Luke Ronchi and Colin Munro to give them a dream start. But the day was not meant for them to glorify. Both the new Zealanders were out in the first and second overs respectively. Islamabad was in tatters at 4 for two. But Dawid Malan and captain Shadab Khan yielded 57 runs for the third wicket and also ignited positive hopes for their team.
Islamabad reached their 50 for two in 5.5 overs when Shadab was at 24 and Malan at 19. However, Qalandars’ South African bowler Dawid Wiese dented their dreams by taking Malan out for 22 which he got in 22 balls. Joined by Colin Ingram, Shadab despite playing a captain’s innings of 52 runs in 28 balls saw things slowly slipping out of their grip. He was made to head back by Haris Rauf after Patel caught him at third man but not before he hit three fours and four sixes. Islamabad 92 for four needed 91 in 54 balls then. Asif Ali came in to support Ingram who with three sixes and a four in Patel’s over sent shivers in Qalandars’ spine. But luck favoured Patel as Fakhar at deep extra cover took a clean catch to block Ingram at 30.
Later Asif’s (18) efforts were made futile by Shaheen Shah, who with his second wicket reduced them to 135 for six. He later had Hussain Talat for his third scalp.
The following batters Faheem Ashraf (11), Ammad Butt (8), Ahmed Safi and Muhammad Musa brought smile on their team’s faces.
Shaheen Shah had four wickets, Rauf got two while Hafeez, Wiese and Patel shared one wicket each.
Lahore Qalandars were off to a whirl-wind start with their opener Fakhar Zaman and Chris Lynn put the ground on fire with their massive blows. But those blows did not last long with Lynn (11 in eight balls) losing his wicket to Muhammad Musa. Fakhar did not let the fire subside and he along with Mohammad Hafeez spelt oil to it together gathering 67 runs. Islamabad United captain Shahdab Khan stopped Fakhar from further damaging their attack. His 26-ball 33 with the help of five boundaries set the tone of a big score.
After Fakhar’s departure, Hafeez took the charge and inflicted blow after blow to the United bowlers. He raced to his 33rd T20 half century in just 34 balls. However, he kept losing his partners. After Fakhar, he saw captain Sohail Akhtar (1), Dane Vilas (3), Samit Patel (10) and David Wiese (19) sent back with two of them gone cheaply. But he (Hafeez) kept his cauldron secure and stablised Qalandars score.
Qalandars from 22 for one, managed 89 for two and after a brief collapse in which two quick wickets were lost at 96 for three and then 100 for four, then they had a savior in Hafeez.
The former Pakistan captain along with Samit Patel developed 51 runs for the fifth wicket. United’s pacer Faheem blew the partnership in the 18th over. But Hafeez, who went on to score unbeaten 98, first with the support of Patel, then David Wiese and lately Faizan Khan posted a total worth enough to fight for.
Faheem and Shadab shared two wickets each while Musa and Saifi had one apiece. Earlier, Islamabad United won the toss and chose to field. Islamabad United called in Ahmed Saifi Abdullah in place of Akif Javed, while Qalandars brought in Mohammad Faizan and Samit Patel and rested Dilber Hussain and Ben Dunk.