Lahore Qalandars player James Faulkner celebrates with his team-mates during their PSL match against Islamabad United on Sundy.
LAHORE: An incredible 75 from Asif Ali followed by Muhammad Musa’s three for 18 handed Islamabad United a stunning 28-run victory over Lahore Qalandars in the 20th fixture of Pakistan Super League 6 at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium on Sunday night. This win propelled United – the champions of the 2016 and 2018 editions – at the top of points table. Qalandars, chasing 153, were rolled out for 124 with 10 balls to spare despite a solid start to their innings. The opening pair of Fakhar Zaman and Sohail Akhtar stroked a 55-run partnership that ended on the last ball of the powerplay when leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed trapped the latter in front of stumps. Zeeshan Ashraf was run out five balls later after scoring just one but the run chase turned on its head in the 11th over when Musa dismissed Mohammad Hafeez with a short-pitched delivery. Hafeez, in his attempt to pull the young pacer, handed an easy catch to Hussain Talat at deep square-leg which initiated a collapse of epic proportions as Qalandars slipped from 86 for two to 100 for nine. Musa dismissed Ben Dunk on the last ball of the same over and got the prized scalp of Fakhar, who with 44 off 37 promised to anchor the chase, in his next over. With the pressure mounting on Qalandars, Tim David, fresh from his match-defining 64 not out against Peshawar Zalmi, hold out to deep midwicket off Shadab, who four balls later cleaned up Rashid Khan with a googly.
Earlier, it was the 123-run alliance between Asif Ali, who posted his best PSL score, and Iftikhar Ahmed that propelled United to a respectable 152 for seven. United had lost as many as five wickets for just 20 runs as Qalandars’ pacers once again provided their team a perfect start. As Qalandars seemed to be on their course to roll out United for a small total, Asif and Iftikhar staged an epic recovery with the former being a central figure.
Scores in brief:
Islamabad United beat Lahore Qalandars by 28 runs
Islamabad United 152-7, 20 overs (Asif Ali 75, Iftikhar Ahmed 49; James Faulkner 3-19, Shaheen Shah Afridi 2-19, Haris Rauf 2-29) vs Lahore Qalandars 124 all out, 18.2 overs (Fakhar Zaman 44, Sohail Akhtar 34; Muhammad Musa 3-18, Shadab Khan 2-14, Fawad Ahmed 2-27)
Player of the Match – Asif Ali (Islamabad United).