PSL8: Islamabad United beat Quetta Gladiators by 2 wickets, PSL Season 8 Match 21

In the last over of the game, Faheem Ashraf hit three straight boundaries, giving Islamabad United the victory against Quetta Gladiators after a tense pursuit of the 180-run goal. By the end of the Powerplay, Colin Munro’s scorching half-century had Islamabad United in a commanding position. A spectacular middle-order collapse then threatened to derail the home team’s pursuit, but Azam Khan and Faheem’s composed contributions made sure they earned their fifth victory of the year.

Shadab Khan’s decision to send Quetta Gladiators into bat first ensured that their innings would get off to a terrible start. The visitors’ wickets continued to fall as they were reduced to 17-4 in the sixth over, with two victims falling to Fazalhaq Farooqi’s quick swing and precise lines during the opening burst.

Islamabad United beat Quetta Gladiators

The innings of the Quetta Gladiators were revived by the partnership of Najibullah Zadran (59 off 34) and Mohammad Nawaz (52 off 44), who contributed 104 runs off 64 deliveries for the fifth wicket. Najibullah was the most aggressive of the two, scoring 50 off 28 balls while smacking five total boundaries and three sixes.

As Nawaz was bowled by Fazalhaq in the 17th over, Umar Akmal was sent into bat. He hit a quick-fire 43 not out off only 14 balls to raise Quetta Gladiators’ total to 179-6. Umar had a blazing strike rate of 307.14 in his brisk knock, smashing five fours and two sixes.

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Islamabad United, Rahmanullah Gurbaz was dismissed for a duck as a response after Naseem Shah struck early, but Alex Hales and Munro then mounted an incredible comeback that saw them score 51 runs in the first four overs. As Hales attempted to push a slower delivery through cover but instead guided it straight to Najibullah, Naveen-ul-Haq quickly removed him for 12 off 9 runs.

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On the other end, Munro persisted in his assault, smashing four sixes and five fours in his 29-ball 63 before being caught by Iftikhar Ahmed in the eighth over as he sought another maximum. Islamabad United fell from 96-2 to 111-6 in the 12th over, but the top-order assault allowed Azam and Faheem to afford to be cautious and extend the game.

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When Azam (35 off 25) and Hasan Ali were dismissed in the final over of the chase, bowled by Umaid Asif, the pair’s seventh-wicket partnership had produced 58 runs in 44 balls. This injected some late drama. Faheem (39 not out off 31) followed it with three consecutive fours from Odean Smith to secure a two-wicket victory for his team. After his remarkable performance at the plate, Nawaz concluded with numbers of 2-17 in his four overs while Umaid recorded 3-37.

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