After being put into bat first, United never got going as they huffed and puffed their way to 143/9 in their 20 overs. All the Qalandars bowlers chipped in really well. In reply, Lahore couldn’t really get going either, and it was Rashid Khan’s final over blitz that propelled them to a win off the final ball.
The PSL is back and back with a bang. It took more than three months to reschedule the second half of the sixth season, but it was worth the wait as Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United played out a last-ball cliff-hanger.
It was a relatively low-scoring game on a sluggish track as neither side could really force the pace. However, the all-round brilliance of Rashid Khan was on display as he held his nerve and took Qalandars over the line.
Lahore had a solid start as they won the toss, opted to bowl first, and James Faulkner ran through the Islamabad United top-order. The Australian all-rounder picked up a wicket in each of his first three overs as he dismissed Colin Munro, Rohail Nazir and skipper Shadab Khan to leave Islamabad United at 42/3.
Haris Rauf picked up the key scalp of Usman Khawaja in his very first over (seventh over of the innings), and Islamabad United slumped to 50/4. Rashid Khan came in and bowled a fabulous spell in the middle overs. The Afghanistan superstar leg-spinner returned with figures of 4-0-9-1 as he built pressure from his end while Ahmed Daniyal reaped the rewards at the other end and picked up a couple of wickets.
Islamabad United were reduced to 109/8 in the 17th over. Faheem Ashraf struck a few lusty blows at the back end to lift the two-time PSL champions to 143 in their 20 overs.
In reply, skipper Sohail Akhtar led from the front and set up the game for Lahore Qalandars. Fakhar Zaman struggled to get going as he scratched his way to 9 off 15 balls before Ashraf knocked him over. Muhammad Faizan couldn’t get going either as Shadab had him bowled in the eight over.
Lahore Qalandars couldn’t really force the pace at the top, and they crawled to 57/2 in the first 10 overs. Sohail Akhtar had done the bulk of the scoring as he had made 30 off 25 balls at that stage. He struck a couple more boundaries before Fawad Ahmed got the big wicket and dismissed the well-set Akhtar. Mohammad Hafeez, who was going decently, was dismissed by Hasan Ali in the 15th over for 29. At that stage, Lahore Qalandars needed 46 runs off the last five overs.
That came down to 23 off the last two as Tim David and Ben Dunk got a few handy boundaries, but United had pulled it back well. Hasan Ali was superb in the penultimate over as he conceded just three runs off his first five deliveries, including Dunk’s wicket. However, David struck a vital six off the last ball to bring it down to 16 off the final over.
Hussain Talat bowled the final over despite Shadab Khan having one up his sleeve, and that backfired. Rashid Khan struck three boundaries off the first three balls to bring the equation down to four runs off the last three. He got a double and a single off the next two balls before Tim David got a top-edge which sealed the game for Qalandars.
This win helped Lahore to move to the top of the points table with eight points.
Islamabad United 143/ 9 (Faheem 27, Faulkner 3/32, Rauf 2/28, Daniyal 2/29) lost to Lahore Qalandars 144/ 5 (Sohail 40, Hafeez 29, Rashid 15*, Hasan 2/27) by five wickets