Lahore Qalandars beat Islamabad United by 119 runs
RAWALPINDI: Fakhar Zaman scored a magnificent century before bowlers powered Lahore Qalandars to a resounding 119-run victory over Islamabad United to retain their top spot in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) eight standings.
Opting to bat first, the Qalandars made the most of the batting paradise on offer as the visitors dominated the host bowlers to pile up a massive total at the back of a scintillating century by Fakhar.
Earlier, the defending champions were off to a poor start as they lost their in-form batter Abdullah Shafique for just one in the first over.
Fakhar then looked to settle things down after the early setback and batted cautiously in the next over. However, after Asif Ali dropped his catch in Hasan Ali’s first over, there was no stopping the hard-hitting opener.
Fakhar then did not look back and stitched a match-defining partnership with Kamran Ghulam, putting his side in complete command to score big.
The pair contributed 122 runs in just 61 deliveries before Mohammad Wasim Jr struck and brought an end to Ghulam’s cautious knock. He scored 41 in 30 balls, hitting four boundaries and two sixes.
Fakhar then put on another crucial partnership as he accumulated 70 runs for the third wicket with Sam Billings and brought up his second PSL century.
United then had a sigh of relief in the 18th over as right-arm pacer Hasan Ali got the prized wicket of Fakhar; courtesy of a magnificent effort in the deep by Wasim Jr.
Fakhar top-scored for the Qalandars with 115 in 57 balls, smashing eight boundaries and as many sixes.
The Qalandars then jolted with two back-to-back dismissals at the backend as Billings and David Wiese (6) perished in quick successions.
Billings remained the notable run-getter for the Qalandars with his 22-ball 32 which featured two boundaries and two sixes.
Meanwhile, Rashid Khan’s vital cameo in the death overs made sure Qalandars post a massive total on the scoreboard. He scored brisk 15 runs in five deliveries, laced with two boundaries and a six.
Fazalhaq Farooqi led the bowling attack for the United with 3/40 while Hasan and Wasim Jr could pick up a wicket.
Islamabad United got off to a flying start as they scored 32 runs in just 3.4 overs but then Zaman Khan dismissed Rahmanullah Gurbaz for 15 runs.
After that Islamabad United’s wickets kept falling in regular intervals and none of their batters scored 20 plus runs.
Rashid Khan bowled a great spell and gave away only 21 runs in four overs and also picked up four wickets.
Zaman Khan and Haris Rauf also picked two wickets each as Islamabad United were bowled out for 109 runs.