Islamabad United beat Lahore Qalandars convincingly by eight wickets in the ninth match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) on Wednesday at Sharjah.
In the 167-run chase, Islamabad’s Sharjeel Khan (79 off 43) and stand-in captain Shane Watson (79 off 47) partnered up for the biggest opening stand of the inaugural PSL of 153 runs.
Earlier, Lahore scored 166 runs against Islamabad after being sent in to bat first.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Muhammad Rizwan scored 50 off 27 balls courtesy three sixes and five boundaries to push his team’s total to 166-6.
Captain Azhar Ali (27), Dwayne Bravo (26), Naved Yasin (25) and Umar Akmal (23) made small but useful contributions as well.
Muhammad Sami took two wickets for Islamabad. Rumman Raees, Imran Khalid and veteran Saeed Ajmal accounted for one batsman each.
Coolest player of the match is Shane Watson.
Man of the match is Sharjeel Khan: “I liked all the sixes. I love hitting sixes so they were all good. We carried the momentum forward with which we started.”
Azhar Ali: “It was a tough day. We are 15-20 runs short. It was hard for the bowlers. Dew was there but as a professional cricketer you need to perform in the field.”
Shane Watson: “For us to restrict Lahore was a great job. Sharjeel is a very powerful hitter. He took a little bit of pressure off me. It has been a challenging tournament. The local talent has some great power-hitting skills.”
ISL 169-2 (15.5 overs)
SIX! Sharjeel ends with another big maximum over midwicket. Islamabad are back in the PSL.
SIX! Sharjeel goes big over midwicket. The crowd tries to catch a crore but everyone misses it.
OUT! Russell caught at long-on. Brad Haddin come in.
ISL 157-1 (15 overs)
DROPPED! Azhar Ali puts down a sitter at covers. Everyone enjoys a laugh and the game moves on.
Dwayne Bravo comes on to bowl.
ISL 153-1 (14 overs)
Andre Russell is the new man in and he swings wildly on the first ball he faces.
OUT! Watson caught by Rizwan as he swing at a leggish delivery. Anticipated well by the keeper. He dives to his left and bags it.
Two wides on the trot by Ehsan Adil. Either he is afraid of being hit for a six or he is just running in and bowling without an aim in mind.
Ehsan Adil comes on to bowl with Islamabad on a carnage.
ISL 148-0 (13 overs)
Just five runs.
Dwayne Bravo is back.
ISL 143-0 (12 overs)
SIX! Flatter one this time. Watson slashes it over long-on.
SIX! Talk about irony. He rubs salt on Cooper’s wounds with a biggie over long-off.
DROPPED and FOUR! Zohaib drops a dolly. Watson smiles in the face of Cooper.
SIX! Sharjeel Khan with another maximum. This time its over long-on.
Kevon Cooper bowls after the strategic time out.
ISL 119-0 (11 overs)
SIX! A mammoth six by Watson. Straight as a bullet.
FOUR! Half-century up for Sharjeel with a boundary through the leg side.
SIX! Sharjeel this time. Over long-off.
SIX! Over long-on. Watson goes big. 100 up for Islamabad.
ISL 94-0 (10 overs)
FOUR! Sharjeel goes on one knee and finds the unguarded midwicket boundary.
SIX! Shane Watson goes straight. Over Mendis’ head.
Ajantha Mendis in for his second over.
ISL 79-0 (9 overs)
FOUR! Cute shot. Full-toss and against conventional wisdom, Watson just nudges it towards fine leg.
Zohaib Khan in for the ninth over.
ISL 72-0 (8 overs)
FOUR! Mendis bowls it on leg side and Watson latches onto it. Sweeps towards fine leg.
Ajantha Mendis, Lahore’s best spin weapon, comes on to bowl now.
ISL 65-0 (7 overs)
SIX! Slog sweep from Watson and this is the third ball that has gone out of the park.
ISL 58-0 (6 overs)
FOUR! Inside edge and Sharjeel gets another boundary to his name.
Dwayne Bravo is back.
ISL 52-0 (5 overs)
SIX! Shane Watson with a beautiful slog sweep towards midwicket.
Zafar Gohar with his left-arm spin now.
ISL 44-0 (4 overs)
Ehsan comes over the wicket again and Sharjeel goes straight this time for a SIX!
FOUR! On Sharjeel’s legs and short fine leg just watches the ball go past him.
Ehsan comes round the wicket now.
FOUR! Length and Sharjeel slams it towards midwicket.
SIX! 102m giant from Sharjeel Khan. Short and pulled exquisitely. Umpire runs in with a new set of balls. This is T20 cricket for you now, two balls out of the park as soon as PSL comes to Sharjah.
Ehsan Adil in for his second over.
ISL 24-0 (3 overs)
Single off the last ball.
DROPPED! Cameron Delport’s bad day continues. Puts Watson down.
Kevon Cooper now.
ISL 18-0 (2 overs)
Three dots to Shane Watson. Single on the fourth ball followed by a wide. Two singles on the fifth and sixth ball.
Ehsan Adil now with his right-arm medium pace.
ISL 14-0 (1 over)
SIX! Slow length ball and Sharjeel goes over long-on with utter ease.
FOUR! Watson cuts it past point on the very first ball.
Shane Watson and Sharjeel Khan walk in as openers to chase the target for Islamabad. Dwayne Bravo will open the bowling Lahore.
LHR 166-6 (20 overs)
Single on the last ball and a 167-run target is set for Islamabad.
Two runs taken by the new batsman Zohaib Khan.
OUT! Raees adjusts himself under the skier by Kevon Cooper and takes it with an inverted cup.
Single and FIFTY up for Rizwan.
SIX! Fuller and Rizwan goes ballistic towards midwicket.
Rumman Raees starts the last over with a yorker and a dot.
LHR 156-5 (19 overs)
SIX! Rizwan receives another short one and dispatches it perfectly over square leg.
RUN OUT! Direct hit by Kamran Ghulam and Bravo has to walk back from the non-striker’s end.
FOUR! Short and pulled by Rizwan towards square leg.
Andre Russell in for the penultimate over.
LHR 143-4 (18 overs)
FOUR! Rizwan steps forward and slices it square through the off-side.
Muhammad Sami now.
LHR 136-4 (17 overs)
FOUR! Rizwan improvises. Short ball and he scoops it over his head for a boundary.
FOUR! Late cut by Rizwan the third man was up in the circle.
SIX! Rizwan sweeps powerfully for an 80m six towards leg. New ball please!
Rumman Raees now.
LHR 119-4 (16 overs)
FOUR! The ball bounces in front of Billing at long-on and he saves face as ball goes over the fence. Bravo accounts for it.
Saeed Ajmal in for his fourth over.
LHR 108-4 (15 overs)
FOUR! Flicked towards square leg by Bravo.
Andre Russell now to Bravo.
LHR 100-4 (14 overs)
FOUR! Muhammad Rizwan goes behind square on the last ball.
Kamran Ghulam now.
LHR 94-4 (13 overs)
FOUR! Misfield by Sam Billing at extra cover gives Bravo a boundary.
LBW! This time Imran Khalid get Umar Akmal (23 off 23). Same umpire, same delivery and same miss by Umar. Caught plumb in front of the wickets. Muhammad Rizwan joins Bravo.
Imran Khalid is back with his left-arm spin.
LHR 88-3 (12 overs)
Dwayne Bravo is the new man in and he gets off the mark with a single towards long leg.
OUT! Ajmal strikes. Naved Yasin edges a quicker one into Brad Haddin’s hands. It was too straight to cut.
SIX! Umar Akmal making a joke out of Ajmal. Flight and hit hard over midwicket for a 101m giant.
Saeed Ajmal now.
LHR 80-2 (11 overs)
FOUR! Short and hit on the up by Naved Yasin towards square leg.
Rumman Raees is back into the attack. Pakistani selectors will be keeping a close eye on him. Lets see how he responds after being named in the Pakistan World T20 squad.
LHR 73-2 (10 overs)
Just four runs off the over. Saeed Ajmal being economical!
Saeed Ajmal bowls the tenth over.
LHR 69-2 (9 overs)
SIX! Umar Akmal picks it up from length and sends it over midwicket.
Shane Watson bowls his second over.
LHR 59-2 (8 overs)
Gives away only three runs in the over.
The magician Saeed Ajmal is in to bowl now.
LHR 56-2 (7 overs)
Umar Akmal survives an LBW shout. The ball was clearly hitting the leg stump.
FOUR! Missed by the batsman, the keeper and the ball runs to the boundary.
Imran Khalid now with his left-arm spin.
LHR 46-2 (6 overs)
LBW! Azhar Ali departs to make way for Umar Akmal. He was plumb in front of the wickets.
FOUR! Azhar makes use of the bottom hand and goes over the mid-on fielder.
FOUR! Azhar beats the short fine leg fielder.
Muhammad Sami in for his second over.
LHR 36-1 (5 overs)
SIX! Dispatched with ease over the long-off boundary. Naved Yasin with a perfectly timed shot.
LHR 28-1 (4 overs)
Four runs off the over.
Rumman Raees, the left-arm medium pacer, bowls now. He has recently been added to the Pakistan World T20 squad.
LHR 24-1 (3 overs)
FOUR! Naved Yasin goes square through the off-side. Gets off the mark in style.
BOWLED! The ball shapes into the left-hander and Delport walks. Sami strikes first ball!
Muhammad Sami has been given the ball now.
LHR 20-0 (2 overs)
FOUR! Anchored his foot and went thrashing through covers. Azhar playing aggressively.
FOUR! Leg glance and the ball runs to the fine leg boundary. Azhar gets two in two.
Shane Watson shares the new ball with Russell.
LHR 6-0 (1 over)
FOUR! Edge and Azhar Ali finds the third man boundary.
Andre Russell open the bowling for Islamabad. Azhar Ali and Cameron Delport open the batting for Lahore.
Batsmen’s heaven and bowler’s hell; the most precise description of the Sharjah pitch.
Misbahul Haq has been left out as Brad Haddin comes into the squad for Islamabad.
Lahore have rested Chris Gayle again as he had a bad flu. Meanwhile, right-arm bowler Ehsan Adil replaces all-rounder Hammad Azam.
Islamabad have won the toss and opted to bowl first. Watson says the dew is already setting in and it will be difficult to bowl in the second innings.
Meanwhile, Azhar thinks his Qalandars will go into the match with a confidence boost after beating Quetta by 63 runs.