Abdullah Shafique, Sikandar Raza, David Wiese lead Lahore Qalandars’ rout of Islamabad United
Lahore Qalandars 200 for 7 (Shafique 45, Zaman 36, Billings 33, Curran 3-34) beat Islamabad United 90 (Gurbaz 23, Munro 18, Wiese 3-17, Raza 2-6, Rashid 2-8) by 110 runs
After a pulsating victory over Peshawar Zalmi the previous day, Qalandars continued the momentum at home. Until 24 hours prior, it was unclear whether this city would be able to host any more PSL matches this year, but now that it’s confirmed they will, the defending champions appear injected with much more ruthless sense of purpose. Fakhar Zaman and Tahir Baig got them off to a more productive start than yesterday, compiling 56 in the powerplay.
For the first four overs, Qalandars were challenged by a characteristically slapdash start from Rahmanullah Gurbaz. Shaheen Shah Afridi began with a 14-run over – ten of those via wides – after which, Zaman Khan was walloped over cow corner for a huge six in the fourth over.
Just as the chase appeared to be on track, Zaman dented United which led to a collapse. He dived to his left to dismiss Gurbaz in the last ball of the fourth over. Thereon, United imploded remarkably to lose their ten wickets for 49 with Qalandars overwhelming United with both the quality and quantity of their wicket-taking bowlers.
Wiese broke the back of the line-up by taking three middle-order wickets – Colin Munro, Shadab and Azam Khan – to kill the contest. In the interim, Haris Rauf outfoxed Rassie van der Dussen with a lovely slower delivery.
And they still had the small matter of Rashid to deal with. The Afghan was typically unplayable; his wily mix of topspinners, flippers and googlies were too much for United. Raza would add the icing on the cake with three wickets, including a run-out, in an over.
With Lahore officially confirmed as the hosts for the playoffs and final, their grip on this trophy only appears to be tightening.