Rashid Khan stars as Lahore Qalandars edge out Islamabad United

The leg-spinner hit three consecutive fours in the last over which changed the outcome of the match

Rashid Khan stars as Lahore Qalandars edge out Islamabad United PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Lahore Qalandars’ star Rashid Khan starred with the bat in the final over to lead his side to an unlikely win against Islamabad United during their Habib Bank Limited (HBL) Pakistan Super League (PSL) season six encounter in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Chasing a tricky target of 144 runs on a tough wicket, Lahore Qalandars were off to a shaky start as they lost in-form opener Fakhar Zaman (nine off 15) early who was bowled by all-rounder Faheem Ashraf.

Skipper Shadab Khan then bowled a perfect googly that breached the defenses of batsman Mohammad Faizan (nine off 12) and rattled the stumps.

Qalandars’ skipper Sohail Akhtar played an impressive knock to put his side on track, scoring 40 runs off 30 balls before being adjudged LBW off the bowling of leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed.

Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez looked solid at the crease before miscuing pacer Hasan Ali to fielder Asif Ali after scoring 29 runs off 25 balls. 

Islamabad United applied the stranglehold as soon as Hafeez departed as the Lahore Qalandars side slipped from a comfortable position to a precarious one. 

Batsman Ben Dunk (17 off 18) fell in the penultimate over of the match bowled by pacer Hasan Ali, caught by fielder Iftikhar Ahmed as the asking rate climbed up.

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It was leg-spinner Rashid Khan (15 off five) who starred with the bat at the end, hitting three consecutive fours in the last over by all-rounder Hussain Talat which changed the outcome of the match.

Batsman Tim David (23 off 15) balls then hit the winning runs as the Lahore Qalandars side ended with an unlikely five-wicket victory after scoring 144 runs for the loss of five wickets.

Pacer Hasan Ali was the pick of the bowlers for Islamabad United after taking two wickets at the expense of 27 runs in his allotted overs.

Earlier, after winning the toss and opting to field first, Lahore Qalandars were off to a sloppy start as fielder Haris Rauf dropped an easy catch as opener Usman Khawaja was given another life in the first over of the match by pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Pacer James Faulkner shared the new ball with Shaheen and looked sloppy during his first few deliveries. The experienced pacer however soon found his rhythm, dislodging opener Colin Munro’s (11 off seven) stumps as the batsman looked to be gaining steam.

In his next over Faulkner then removed promising wicketkeeper-batsman Rohail Nazir (eight off five), caught by fielder Fakhar Zaman.

Skipper Shadab Khan (seven off eight) fell next as Faulkner picked up his third wicket.

Pacer Haris Rauf then stepped up for his side removing opener Usman Khawaja (18 off 17), caught by fielder James Faulkner as Islamabad United scrambled to find a steady partnership.

Lahore Qalandars’ bowlers continued their relentless attack as Islamabad United batsmen found it hard to score runs freely.

Batsman Iftikhar Ahmed (12 off 16) succumbed to the building pressure as he miscued a delivery from pacer Ahmed Daniyal to skipper Sohail Akhtar, who completed an easy catch.

Star spinner Rashid Khan bowled all-rounder Hussain Talat (14 off 17) as the Qalandars pushed through with regular wickets.

Pacer Ahmed Daniyal then removed hard-hitting batsman Asif Ali (seven off nine) as veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez took a sharp catch.

Tailender Hasan Ali tried to up the ante but holed out to fielder Shaheen Shah off the bowling of pacer Haris Rauf after scoring just 14 runs off nine balls.

All-rounder Faheem Ashraf was the highest scorer for Islamabad United after scoring 27 runs off 24 balls before falling through a caught and bowled off pacer Shaheen Shah.

Tailenders Mohammad Wasim (10 off five) and Fawad Ahmed (four off three) remained unbeaten in the end as their side managed 143 runs for the loss of nine wickets in their allotted overs.

Faulkner was the pick of the bowlers for Lahore Qalandars after taking three wickets while pacers Haris Rauf and Ahmed Daniyal shared two wickets apiece.