Opener Sam Billings played a stunning innings as Misbahul Haq-led Islamabad United beat in-form Quetta Gladiators by five wickets in Sharjah on Wednesday.
Chasing a tricky target of 149 to win the match, the defending champions were in spot of bother after losing three wickets. However, Billings kept his cool and played a breathtaking innings of 78 not out off just 50 balls with the help of eight fours and three sixes.
He was well supported by veteran Australian all-rounder Shane Watson, who scored a quickfire 36 off 27 balls which included four fours and two sixes.
For Quetta, left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz claimed two, whereas veteran pacer Umar Gul, all-rounder Thisara Perera and young spinner Hasan Khan picked a wicket each.
Earlier, after being sent in to bat first, Quetta managed to score 148 for the loss of six wickets in their allotted 20 overs.
Opener Asad Shafiq finished with the top score of 45 off 42 balls, which included four boundaries, whereas Mahmudullah (29 not out off 20) and Perera (27 off 18) made useful contributions with the bat lower down the order.
For United, pacers Mohammad Sami and Watson claimed two wickets each.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2017.