LAHORE                     -              Brilliant batting by Luke Ronchi and superb bowling by Amad Butt helped Islamabad United thump Multan Sultans by eight wickets in the fifth match of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 played here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Saturday night.

The presence of the cricket enthusiasts were comparatively much better, who entered the stadium in a well-disciplined way after passing through different security checkups and supported and cheered for both the teams throughout the one-sided match.

Islamabad United chased the required target in 16.4 overs losing just two wickets. They started their run chase in great style as their openers Luke Ronchi and Colin Munro batted with authority and gathered 91 runs for the opening stand. Colin Munro was the first man of United, who was bowled out by Shahid Afridi at his personal score of 50 runs, which he collected off 32 balls with the help of three boundaries and four towering sixes. After losing the first wicket, Islamabad United players played more sensibly and added 71 runs for the second-wicket partnership. Luke Ronchi then lost his wicket in 16.2 overs, when he playing at his individual score of 45-ball 75 runs, laced with nine fours and two sixes. After Ronchi, Dawid Malan and Colin Ingram landed United home safely. Only Muhammad Ilyas and Shahid Khan Afridi succeeded in getting one wicket each for Multan Sultans.

Earlier, Islamabad United won the toss and elected to field first. Multan Sultans’ Zeeshan Ashraf emerged as top scorer as he slammed 50 runs off 29 balls while James Vince also batted well and gathered 41 runs of 31 balls to help Sultans set a modest target of 164 runs on the board for the loss of eight wickets in allotted 20 overs.

Brilliant bowling by Amad Butt was also one of the main reasons behind Islamabad United’s triumph as clinched four wickets for 27 runs while he was ably assisted by his fellow bowlers Faheem Ashraf (two wickets for 34 runs and Muhammad Musa and Akif Javed (one wicket each).

While Islamabad knocked off the runs without a single Pakistan player so much as coming out to bat, the ease of the victory had been made possible by a local lad yet to take his international bow. Amad Butt, 24, had suffered a pounding at Quetta Gladiators’ hands, going for 50 in four overs, but he grasped the chance to make amends with both hands. Not many bowlers make complete mugs of Moeen and Rossouw in the same over, and yet that’s precisely what sliced open the game for Islamabad in the 10th over.

Incredulously, that wasn’t by Amad’s finest moment of the day. In his following over, he knocked Vince off his feet with a perfect yorker that Waqar Younis, who was on commentary at the time, would have been proud of. It went through the batsman’s legs to take out the leg stump. Vince was then 42 off 30 balls, and Multan needed him to be the anchor for the final eight overs, only for Butt to decisively uproot him. He would return at the death to dismiss Sohail Tanvir to claim his fourth wicket of the day and register his best-ever T20 figures.

Both Multan and Islamabad now have one win each, joining Quetta and Peshawar Zalmi, who are in the same situation. Karachi Kings remain the only team with a perfect record, while Lahore are the only side yet to win after the first three days. On Sunday, Karachi Kings and Quetta Gladiators face-off at the National Stadium, Karachi, at 2pm and Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United lock horns at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium at 7pm.

 

Scorecard

MULTAN SULTANS:

S Masood c Musa b Faheem 21

JM Vince b Amad Butt 42

MM Ali c Faheem b Amad 10

R Rossouw c Faheem b Amad 0

Z Ashraf c Shadab b Faheem 50

Khushdil Shah c Ronchi b Akif 7

Shahid Afridi c Akif b M Musa 11

Sohail Tanvir lbw b Amad Butt 10

Mohammad Ilyas not out 3

Imran Tahir not out 3

EXTRAS: (lb 5, w 2) 7

TOTAL: (8 wkts, 20 overs) 164

FOW: 1-41, 2-69, 3-70, 4-87, 5-111, 6-135, 7-153, 8-160.

BOWLING: Muhammad Musa 4-0-24-1, Akif Javed 4-0-35-1, Faheem Ashraf 4-0-34-2, Shadab Khan 3-0-29-0, Amad Butt 4-0-27-4, Hussain Talat 1-0-10-0.

ISLAMABAD UNITED:

L Ronchi c Vince b M Ilyas 74

C Munro b Shahid Afridi 50

DJ Malan not out 35

CA Ingram not out 1

EXTRAS: (lb 1, w 4) 5

TOTAL: (2 wkts, 16.4 overs) 165

FOW: 1-92, 2-163

BOWLING: Sohail Tanvir 2-0-16-0, Imran Tahir 4-0-44-0, Mohammad Irfan 4-0-43-0, Mohammad Ilyas 2.4-0-17-1, Shahid Afridi 3-0-25-1, MM Ali 1-0-19-0.

TOSS: Islamabad United

UMPIRES: R Martinesz, S Raza

TV UMPIRE: Rashid Riaz

MATCH REFEREE: M Anees