Islamabad United defeated Peshawar Zalmi by 26 runs to go top of the PSL standings on Friday night.
JP Duminy starred with the bat, with an unbeaten 73 to help the team post their highest PSL total of 182-5, while Samit Patel claimed four wickets for the 2016 winners.
Here are the key points from the match:
JP Duminy makes Peshawar Zalmi pay
The South African’s highest score in this year’s competition was his unbeaten 43 against Karachi Kings, but that score was smashed by some distance.
The left-hander was lucky to still be at the crease when dropped by Liam Dawson on 18 and the veteran batsman made the most of his opportunity.
Rotating the strike even when wickets were falling, he was not afraid to attack with Dawson, Ibtisam Sheikh and Wahab Riaz on the receiving end as Islamabad put up their highest PSL score ever.
Samit Patel becoming the perfect replacement
Samit Patel makes TRIPLE breakthrough... Smith and Fletcher follow Kamran Akmal to the dugout!— PakistanSuperLeague (@thePSLt20) March 9, 2018
PZ 54/3 in 8 overs
129 needed off 72balls.#SherKiDhaar at Dubai.#DilSeJaanLagaDe#IUvPZ pic.twitter.com/nBLnFAW4A7
The 33-year-old all-rounder is proving to be a successful replacement for Islamabad United.
Replacing Sri Lanka all-rounder Asela Gunaratne, the former England international was effective with the ball. Having trapped Kamran Akmal LBW, Patel’s spin deceived Peshawar batsmen with Andre Fletcher and Dwayne Smith both dismissed in consecutive balls as Islamabad United took charge.
He eventually finished with figures of 4-34 and did his fielding part by catching Umaid Asif in the final over.
Islamabad United making a late charge
After two straight losses, Islamabad United are beginning to find the form that won them the title back in 2016.
This is their fifth win and a result that puts them to the top of the standings with two groups games to go.
Head coach Dean Jones has reiterated it’s not how you start the tournament, it’s how you finish it and Islamabad are showing signs that they’re finding their form at just the right time.
Luke Ronchi has been showing signs of his batting potential Islamabad United with two consecutive half-centuries before Friday’s match against Peshawar Zalmi.
The 36-year-old smashed 77 and 71 against Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi respectively and was aiming for another big score against the reigning champions.
Here, we analyse his performance in the 26-run victory at Dubai International Stadium.
His stay at the crease lasted less than five overs but by that time, fans had already witnessed some hard-hitting boundaries from the former New Zealand batsman. Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars were both on the receiving end when they faced Islamabad United last week.
It looked like Peshawar Zalmi’s bowlers were going to be taken apart in similar fashion especially when Ronchi smashed two fours off an over from Hasan Ali. Wahab Riaz had it even worse as three straight balls went to the ropes but the Pakistani had the final say, dismissing him with the very next ball in the fourth over.
Opening the innings, did his part with the bat by going on the attack. It wasn’t a knock that got people talking but with his wrist-work and accuracy, he got enough bat on the ball to beat the fielders for the boundaries.
A useful knock from the Kiwi and Islamabad United will be hoping there will be more big runs in him as the tournament enters the latter stages.
Lahore Qalandars got their first win of PSL 2018 when they stunned league leaders Multan Sultans by six wickets on Friday night at Dubai International Stadium.
Here are the three key points from the match:
Shaheen Afridi takes centre stage
The 17-year-old pacer had already been earmarked as one for the future by Lahore Qalandars coach Aaqib Javed before the tournament and you only have to look at Friday’s performance to see why. The youngster has endured a frustrating start to his first PSL, going wicketless in his previous three matches but that run finally ended in some style.
Multan Sultans seemed to be on course to post an imposing total, as at one point they were on 91-2. But Afridi rattled the batting order with two magical overs that left spectators at Dubai International Stadium in awe. His second over saw him rewarded with three key wickets in four balls – Shoaib Malik, Ross Whiteley and Saif Badar. He then wrapped up the innings with two wickets in consecutive deliveries as he produced overall figures of 5-4 in 3.4 overs.
A new batting position for Brendon McCullum?
For years, we have seen the former New Zealand batsman create havoc for the bowlers as an opening batsman. But in Lahore’s last two matches, McCullum has come down the batting order at No.5. In Thursday’s defeat to Islamabad United, he scored an unbeaten 33 and again against Multan Sultans was also effective with the bat.
When runs are needed at the death as shown when Lahore needed 17 from 18 balls, teams need batsmen to keep their cool and deal with the pressure. With 16 years of experience behind him in a career that has seen him play Tests, ODIs, T20I and major T20 competitions, McCullum certainly falls into the category. Fortunately for Lahore, McCullum was at the crease on Friday and he duly delivered when it mattered, hitting the winning boundary in his unbeaten knock of 35 to seal their first win.
With him being effective in the middle-order, expect him to continue in that position for the remainder of the competition.
Reality check for Multan Sultans
After a promising start for the tournament debutants, Tom Moody’s side have now suffered back-to-back defeats. On paper, the fixture against Lahore looked like the perfect game for them to bounce back from their defeat to Quetta Gladiators on Wednesday. They were on course to do so early on in their innings but were later stunned by Lahore. They are still top of the standings for now but Moody and the rest of the players cannot afford to drop their game going into the business end of the tournament.