LAHORE          -            Lahore Qalandars’ sufferings continued unabated as they faced another huge margin 71-run defeat at the hands Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 match here at Gaddafi Stadium on Wednesday night.

Qalandars, who had already lost all of their three matches and astonished Quetta Gladiators on Tuesday night, once again failed to live up to the expectations and continued to disappoint Lahorites as well as their diehard fans, who came in huge numbers to support their team. Most of their batsmen seemed out of touch and couldn’t deliver for their team.

Qalandars couldn’t reply strongly and kept on losing wickets on regular intervals as they lost their first wicket at 1-0 and then soon they were struggling at 2-16. The collapse started when opener Chris Lynn (0) departed and Hafeez (10) was the second batsman to follow. Ben Dunk (25) and Salman Butt (21) then batted sensibly and contributed significant 41 runs to launch recuse operation but they also failed to prolong their partnership, which came to an end at a total of 57.

Dunk, who played key role in Qalandars’ victory against Quetta with a swashbuckling innings, this time failed to deliver and after his departure, it seemed that confidence has vanished within the rest of the batsmen. Six of their batsman including Chris Lynn (0), Samit Patel (6), Sohail Akhtar (8), Muhammad Faizan (6), Seekkuge Prasanna (6) and Salman Irshad (1) failed to cross the double figures, which clearly indicates the pathetic performance from Qalandars batsmen.

Tail-ender Usman Shinwari batted with authority and slammed significant 30, laced with four boundaries off 11 balls. Rumman Raees bowled brilliantly for Islamabad as he clinched three wickets for 29 runs while Zafar Gohar and Shadab Khan bagged two wicket apiece for 31 and 21 runs as Dale Steyn and Asif Javed took one wicket each.

Earlier put into bat first, Islamabad posted 198 for three on the board in 20 overs. Player-of-the-match, Colin Munro, played heroic role in giving respectability to Islamabad United’s total. He smashed unbeaten 59-ball 87 runs with the help of eight fours and three towering sixes. Munro was ably assisted by Luke Ronchi (48) and the pair of the openers shared 103 runs for the opening stand to give Islamabad a flying start.

Qalandars bowlers took a sigh of relief after breaking the stand by removing Ronchi caught by Samit Patel off the bowling of Muhammad Hafeez at a total of 103. Ronchi smashed one six and six flowing boundaries in 31 balls to follow the foot prints of the top scorer. After this, Islamabad suffered another blow with the early departure of Shadab Khan (7), when Islamabad were struggling at 113-2.

Islamabad continued to get useful support from his batsman and a short lived 46 runs stand took their score to 159 before the pair was dislodged. Run-hungry Munro joined Colin Ingram (29) for the stand and Lahore’s bowlers found it hard to restrict Islamabad from posting a decent innings total. Ingram quick fired runs had six hits through the fence off 19 deliveries as Asif Ali (20 with three fours and one six) remained unbeaten. For Lahore Qalandars, Salman Irshad, Muhammad Faizan and Muhammad Hafeez claimed one wicket apiece for 43, 41 and 11 runs.

The victory helped Islamabad United maintain their domination over Lahore Qalandars by recording their second triumph, whom they had earlier beaten in the opening match by one wicket on February 23 at the same venue.