Asif Ali, Musa shine as Islamabad United come from behind to defeat Qalandars

Qalandars, chasing 153, were rolled out for 124 with 10 balls to spare despite a solid start to their innings. The opening pair – Fakhar Zaman and Sohail Akhtar’s 55-run partnership ended on the last ball

By   |  Published: 14th Jun 2021  9:33 amUpdated: 14th Jun 2021  11:40 am

Abu Dhabi [UAE], June 14 (ANI): Asif Ali slammed a brilliant half-century while Muhammad Musa picked three wickets as Islamabad United defeated Lahore Qalandars by 28 runs in a Pakistan Super League (PSL) match on Sunday.

Qalandars, chasing 153, were rolled out for 124 with 10 balls to spare despite a solid start to their innings. The opening pair – Fakhar Zaman and Sohail Akhtar’s 55-run partnership ended on the last ball of the powerplay when leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed trapped the latter in front of stumps.

Zeeshan Ashraf was run out five balls later after scoring just one but the run chase turned on its head in the 11th over when Musa dismissed Mohammad Hafeez with a short-pitched delivery.
Hafeez, in his attempt to pull the young pacer, handed an easy catch to Hussain Talat at deep square-leg which initiated a collapse of epic proportions as Qalandars slipped from 86 for two to 100 for nine.

Musa dismissed Ben Dunk on the last ball of the same over and got the prized scalp of Fakhar, who with 44 off 37 promised to anchor the chase, in his next over.

With pressure mounting on Qalandars, Tim David, fresh from his match-defining 64 not out against Peshawar Zalmi, holed out to deep midwicket off Shadab, who four balls later cleaned up Rashid Khan with a googly.

Haris Rauf promised a twist in the tale with two successive sixes off Mohammad Wasim Jnr but was caught at deep midwicket by Iftikhar Ahmed in the penultimate over which ended Qalandars’ innings.

It was the 123-run alliance between Asif Ali, who posted his best PSL score, and Iftikhar Ahmed that propelled Islamabad United to a respectable 152 for seven.

United had lost as many as five wickets for just 20 runs as Qalandars’ pacers once again provided their team a perfect start. Shaheen Shah Afridi’s scorching pace combined with lethal swing sent Usman Khawaja packing on the third ball.

The left-arm pacer would have picked two wickets in two balls when his searing in-swinging yorker landed on right-handed Rohail Nazir’s front pad right in front of the off-stump. The umpire gave out Rohail, but the review showed that the bowler had stepped over the line.
Rohail, however, had to walk back to the pavilion in the next over as James Faulkner’s impressive form with the new ball continued.

In the fourth over, the Australian quick dismissed Colin Munro – for the second time in five days – with a delivery that nipped back into the left-hander and Hussain Talat became his next victim when he flicked the penultimate ball of the powerplay into the hands of Tim David, stationed at square-leg.

United were 20 for four after six overs. Their start to the middle-phase of the innings was far from perfect as Shadab Khan was caught behind off Haris Rauf. As Qalandars seemed to be on their course to roll out United for a small total, Asif and Iftikhar staged a recovery with the former being a central figure.

Asif blunted the Afghanistan leg-spinner’s threat and made sure he remained wicket-less in his four overs. The Qalandars failed to remove him and his stay at the crease only ended when his leg disturbed the stumps as he pulled Shaheen in the 19th over.

Iftikhar, who scored 49 off 37, duly supported him. He struck six boundaries before he holed out to long-off in the penultimate ball of the innings.

Only two batsmen from United – Asif and Iftikhar – and three from Qalandars – Fakhar, Sohail and Rauf – scored in double figures.