It was all too easy for Islamabad United to pick up a comprehensive win over Lahore Qalandars who are having a nightmare of a tournament in the 2018’s Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Put into bat first, the openers got Qalandars off to a brisk start scoring 49 in the powerplay. JP Duminy removed the dangerous Fakhar Zaman, thereby breaking the 56-run opening stand. Anton Devcich, his partner, continued playing his shots and brought up his fifty in 27 balls. But he couldn’t up the ante after reaching the milestone.
Qalandars then lost their way in the middle overs – scoring just 22 runs and losing 3 wickets. At the end of 17 overs, with the score reading 123 for 4, skipper Brendon McCullum decided to press the accelerator pedal.
The New Zealand veteran smashed three sixes and two fours in his 12-ball 33 cameo, which helped Lahore post a decent total on the board. For United, Faheem Ashraf was the pick of the bowlers, who returned 3 for 32.
Duminy was promoted to the top and he along with the in-form Luke Ronchi got their team off to a flying start. The 47-run partnership was broken in the sixth over by Sunil Narine. However, Ronchi was unperturbed. The New Zealander, who bagged the Man of the Match award in his previous outing, continued to bat aggressively. He notched up his half-ton in just 22 balls – the joint fastest fifty in this edition of the PSL.
Narine picked two more wickets later, including that of Ronchi, but it was too late. The Misbah-led side chased down the total with 14 balls to spare and recorded their third straight win.
Watch Ronchi’s innings here-
LQ 163/8 (20 ov) | Devcich 62 (42), McCullum 33* (12) | Faheem 3/32
IU 164/4 (17.4 ov) | Ronchi 77 (41), Shadab 32 (24) | Narine 3/28
Result: Islamabad United won by 6 wickets