Dubai: Lahore Qalandars extended their losing streak by crashing to their sixth defeat in six matches. Islamabad United opener Luke Ronchi, through a whirlwind knock of 77 runs from 41 balls studded with six sixes and five boundaries, inflicted a six-wicket defeat on the struggling Lahore team in the 18th match of the Pakistan Super League at the Dubai International Stadium.
Though Lahore posted an impressive 163 for eight through New Zealand opener and PSL debutant Anton Devcich’s half century, the total wasn’t enough to stop the Islamabad’s mighty batting.
Earlier, Islamabad won the toss and elected to field.
Usually teams that choose to field would like an early wicket but Lahore openers denied it to them. Openers Zaman and Devcich put on 56 runs in 6.4 overs before Zaman on 34 got caught behind off a decision that was challenged before the Ultra Edge judging in favour of the bowler JP Duminy.
Agha Salman and Devcich took the score past the 100-run mark by the 11th over before Salman fell for eight slog sweeping Shadab Khan to Sahibzada Farhan at deep mid-wicket.
Next man D. Ramadin failed again and fell for nine runs after playing out 20 balls. Getting beaten three times in a row and finally going for a slog, Ramadan got bowled by Faheem Ashraf.
In the same over, Ashraf also picked the wicket of Devcich who top edged his pull to Mohammad Sami who took a running catch from square leg. Ashraf also picked the wicket of Sunil Narine with a fine inswinging yorker and bowl him out for six.
In the last over, Lahore lost Sohail Khan to Sami while Aamer Yamin and Salman Irshad got run out.
Lahore thus posted 163 for eight but their last seven wickets fell for 62 runs. As usual, their skipper Brendon McCullum played another fine knock and remained unbeaten on 33.
Chasing the score, Islamabad scored 47 in 4.3 overs with JP Duminy scoring 21 before he edged off spinner Sunil Narine to McCullum at first slip. Ronchi went for his shots right away and hit Imran Khan for a six over long over fine leg. Ronchi also hit Narine over the covers for another six. When leg spinner Yasir Shah was introduced for a second spell, he elegantly hit him for a boundary between third man and backward point. Shadab Khan too hit Shah in the same over for a six over long on.
Ronchi raced to his half century in 22 balls through a six over long off to equal the fastest half century in PSL’s history with Umar Akmal’s half century in 2016. The thrashing by the pair was so severe that Islamabad needed just 49 more runs at the half way mark. The pair put on 87 runs in 7.2 over before Shadab got caught by Fakhar Zaman at deep mid-wicket off Imran Khan for 32. Though Narine trapped Asif Ali leg before for 7 and also dismissed Ronchi, Islamabad won with 14 balls to spare.
Islamabad United bt Lahore Qalandars by six wkts. Lahore 163 for 8 in 20 overs (Fakhar Zaman 34, Anton Devcich 62, Brendon McCullum 33, Faheem Ashraf 3 for 32) Islamabad 164 for 4 in 17.4 overs (JP Duminy 21, Luke Ronchi 77, Shadab Khan 32, Sunil Narine 3 for 28).