The Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 resumed after a three-month hiatus with – the finalists of the 2020 tournament Lahore Qalandars – sealed a five-wicket win over 2016 and 2018 champions Islamabad United off the final ball.
With this win, the Qalandars go top of the PSL 2021 table with four wins from five matches. This was also Lahore's third win over United in 11 attempts in PSL. This was United's second loss in five matches in PSL 6 and are currently placed fourth with six points.
Set a target of 144, Rashid Khan, who finished with figures of 1 for 9 from four overs, including 15 dots, smashed Hussain Talat for three fours in the last over. Qalandars required 16 from six when Shadab Khan, the United captain, brought Talat into the attack - his first and only over in the match.
Rashid welcomed the right-arm pacer with three consecutive fours and stole two runs on the fourth delivery. The last two balls brought two singles as Qalandars registered their fourth win of the season.
United looked in contention after Hasan Ali (2 for 27) gave away only seven runs and dismissed Ben Dunk in the penultimate over. Hasan bowled four dots before Tim David finished it with a six that went over the bowler’s head.
Qalandars’ innings was anchored by their captain Sohail Akhtar who top-scored with a 30-ball 40 which included five fours and a six. Sohail’s knock included a 38-run partnership for the third wicket with Mohammad Hafeez (29 off 25, three fours) that steadied Qalandars’ innings after losing their first two wickets for 44 runs in 7.4 overs.
Fawad Ahmed then helped United bounce back in the contest as he trapped Sohail leg-before and two overs later, Hafeez was caught at deep square-leg thanks to a brilliant slower delivery from Hasan. David in the end finished with an unbeaten 23-ball 15 and supported Rashid extremely well to take his side home.
For Islamabad United, none of the players reached 30, with Faheem Ashraf top-scoring with 27. While Rashid Khan bowked an excellent spell, it was James Faulkner (3 for 32), who was the most successful bowler for the Qalandars.
Islamabad next take on Quetta Gladiators on Friday (June 11), while Lahore play Peshawar Zalmi a day before on Thursday (June 10).
Islamabad United 143 for 9 in 20 Overs (Faheem Ashraf 27, Usman Khawaja 18; James Faulkner 3 for 32) lost to Lahore Qalandars 144 for 5 in 20 Overs (Sohail Akhtar 40, Mohammad Hafeez 29; Hasan Ali 2 for 27)
Player of the Match: Rashid Khan
(With inputs from PSL Media Release)