Lahore - Quetta Gladiators won the opening match of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 after beating Islamabad United by three wickets at National Stadium Karachi on Thursday night. It was a classic knock of Azam Khan, son of former captain Moin Khan, who played 33 balls to gather significant 59 runs and also brought Quetta Gladiators close to the victory. Azam’s innings included five boundaries and three sixes. The partnership of Ben Cutting and Sohail Khan also played key role in Quetta’s victory as they contributed crucial 33 for the seventh-wicket stand. Quetta reached home safely in 18.3 overs as they chased the target for the loss of seven wickets with 9 balls to spare. Muhammad Musa was the only Islamabad bowler, who grabbed three wickets while Akif Javed, Faheem Ashraf and Amad Butt claimed one wicket each. Earlier, Islamabad got the blow when the first ball of the tournament was bowled as Colin Munro was caught and bowled by Mohammad Nawaz. After the loss of the first wicket, Dawid Malan and Luke Ronchi tried to rebuild the innings and added 38 runs in 22 deliveries before Ronchi was caught at backward point off Sohail Khan after scoring 23. Following the fall of Ronchi, it was Malan’s turn to take the charge, and he did so by scoring some quick runs. Malan added 68 runs for the third wicket before his partner Hussain Talat (19) was caught by Ahmed Shahzad off Mohammad Hasnain. Colin Ingram was next to go and his wicket was followed by Malan’s departure. Malan scored 64 off 50, smashing five fours and three sixes as Islamabad lost its last six wickets for just 41 runs. Mohammad Hasnain got four wickets conceding 25 runs. Ben Cutting got three, giving 31 runs in four overs.

BRIEF SCORES:

ISLAMABAD UNITED: 168 all out in 19.1 overs (Dawid Malan 64, Luke Ronchi 23, Faheem Ashraf 20; Mohammad Hasnain 4-25, Ben Cutting 3-31, Sohail Khan 2-21)

QUETTA GLADIATORS: 171/7 in 18.3 overs (Azam Khan 59, Mohammad Nawaz 23, Ben Cutting 22*; Muahmmad Musa 3-30)