Qalandars fly high as United face worst ever defeat

RAWALPINDI: Lahore Qalandars inflicted the heaviest-ever defeat on Islamabad United to confirm their status as one of the top two finishers of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) season 8 at the Pindi Stadium here on Thursday

Islamabad United batsmen could not bear the pressure of 227 runs target set by Lahore Qalandars and were bowled out for 107 in the 16th over. The 119 runs defeat was the biggest ever suffered by a team in PSL history. The match that promised so much at the start ended up with an easy win for the Qalandars.

Lahore Qalandars’ innings revolved mainly around Fakhar Zaman’s (115) hundred during which he was dropped twice and narrowly escaped leg-before-wicket decisions. His eight fours and eight sixes during his 57-ball stay at the wicket were enough to push Qalandars to a massive 226 for 5.

Fakhar was dropped first when Asif Ali floored him in slips. He had scored just 1. At 70, he was again dropped by Hasan Ali at long-off. By that time Fakhar had already hit five sixes and six fours, a few of them landing in the stands. Drama erupted when he was adjudged leg before wicket with umpire Asif Afridi ruling him out. Even Fakhar who was on 85 at that time was sure of his fall and was heading towards the pavilion when he was called back to continue his innings as the ball had pitched outside the leg stump.

“When Asif Ali dropped my catch, I knew this is my day and I carried on till I was dropped yet again,” Man of the Match Fakhar said following his exciting innings. “The pitch was okay early on but later got a bit slow and low. I told my partners including (Sam) Billings that it would be better if we started hitting before the end overs,” he added.

Minutes later Fakhar struck another smart six and then took a single to reach his second PSL hundred consuming 50 balls, hitting six sixes and eight fours in the process. His innings not only set a solid foundation but also saw Qalandars push the run rate to over 10 runs per over.

Fakhar had reached his fifty off 24 balls. Shadab Khan conceded 32 of his first two overs — the worst-ever start for the leg spinner. After the early fall of Abdullah Shafique (1), Fakhar put on 122 for the second wicket with Kamran Ghulam (41) and 70 for the third wicket with Sam Billings (32).

Islamabad United got a reprieve when Kamran Ghulam (41) was held at deep square leg by Faheem Ashraf off Mohammad Wasim. By that time, Lahore had already reached 125 in 10.4 overs.

Sam Billings scored a brisk 32 studded with two sixes and as many fours. Fazalhaq Farooqi (3-40) was the pick of the bowlers. Every Islamabad bowler conceded ten or more runs per over except for Hasan Ali (1-33 of four overs).

“It is never easy to chase down such a huge total against the bowling of the stature of Lahore Qalandars. They have got a solid attack. But things could change when the PSL 8 will enter into the playoffs,” United captain Shadab said in a post-match media talk.

United lost hard-hitter Azam Khan and was ruled out of the match with a ring finger injury to his left hand.

Islamabad United’s chase of an impeccable target was never on track as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals with none staying long to pose any threat to the Qalandars total. Alex Hales (18), Collin Munro (11), Shadab Khan (12), Asif Ali (7) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (15) failed on a pitch that had nothing for bowlers.

Rashid Khan (4-21) yet again proved his status as a match-winner.

Score Board

Lahore Qalandars won the toss

Lahore Qalandars Innings

Shafique c Hales b Farooqi 1

Fakhar c Wasim b Hasan 115

Kamran c Faheem b Wasim 41

Billings † c Hasan b Fazalhaq 32

Sikandar Raza not out 1

David b Fazalhaq 6

Rashid not out 15

Extras: (b 1, lb 4, nb 2, w 8) 15

Total: 20 Ov (RR: 11.30) 226/5

Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-125, 3-195, 4-203, 5-209

Bowling: Fazalhaq 4-0-40-3, Hasan Ali 4-0-33-1, Faheem Ashraf 4-0-43-0, Mohammad Wasim 4-0-48-1, Mubasir Khan 2-0-25-0, Shadab Khan 2-0-32-0

Islamabad United Innings

Rahmanullah c Haris b Zaman 15

Alex c †Billings b Wiese 18

Colin c †Billings b Zaman 11

Shadab (c) c †Billings b Rashid 12

Mubasir Khan b Rashid 3

Asif b Rashid 7

Faheem lbw b Rashid 4

Hasan c Abdullah Shafique b Haris 18

Wasim c †Billings b Rauf 8

Fazalhaq Farooqi not out 0

Extras: (b 4, w 7) 11

Total: 15.1 Ov (RR: 7.05) 107

Fall of wickets: 1-32, 2-44, 3-59, 4-63, 5-68, 6-77, 7-93, 8-101, 9-107

Bowling: Shaheen Afridi 2-0-18-0, Zaman Khan 3-0-17-2, Haris Rauf 2.1-0-16-2, Rashid 4-0-21-4, David Wiese 3-0-17-1, Sikandar Raza 1-0-14-0

Result: Qalandars won by 119 runs

Player of the match: Fakhar Zaman

Umpires: Aleem Dar, Faisal Afridi

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