PSL 2019: Faheem, Delport wreck Lahore Qalandars as Islamabad United book play-off spot

Waseem Ahmed 21:35 09/03/2019
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6-19 for Faheem Ashraf. Image credit - @thePSLt20/Twitter.

Defending champions Islamabad United moved into the 2019 Pakistan Super League (PSL) play-offs with a 49-run win over Lahore Qalandars in a record-breaking affair at Karachi.

Cameron Delport recorded the first-ever PSL ton on Pakistan soil while Faheem Ashraf picked up a remarkable six-wicket haul with the ball as the Karachi leg of the tournament started off with a bang.

After Islamabad had posted a record 238-3, Lahore ran them close with Sohail Akhtar’s plundering 75 runs off just 34 balls while skipper Fakhar Zaman played an entertaining cameo of 38 (20).

Fakhar collected 26 runs off a single Muhammad Musa over early into the inning with Lahore bringing up the team fifty in just 22 balls.

However, Faheem struck back for Islamabad with a six-wicket burst which saw the seamer leapfrog Hasan Ali to the top of the 2019 PSL wicket-taking charts.

Sohail Akhtar batted valiantly at the other end but could not avert a big defeat for Lahore with his dropped catch of Delport earlier proving costly.

Having been made to bat first, Islamabad United were rocked early by Shaheen Afridi who removed danger man Luke Ronchi off the very first delivery of the match. Phil Salt fell cheaply too to Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane but from that point on, it was pure carnage by Islamabad’s batsmen.

Cameron Delport and Chadwick Walton turned on the style in the powerplay with the team fifty coming up in just 24 balls as sixes rained down on the short boundaries at the National Stadium.

Delport was batting like a man possessed against his former employers as Islamabad racked up 70 runs in the powerplay which is now the second highest in PSL history. The South African brought up his half-century off just 23 deliveries after being dropped while batting on 26 by Sohail Akhtar.

Delport and Walton added 118 runs between themselves in a breathtaking third-wicket stand before the latter was dismissed on 48 (30) by David Wiese.

The South African batsman, meanwhile, continued to plunder the boundaries and brought up a first-ever PSL ton on Pakistan soil in 48 deliveries with two consecutive sixes off Lamichhane in the 16th over. It was Asif Ali who led the charge for Islamabad in the death overs with the Pakistan batsman smashing a record joint-quickest PSL fifty off just 17 balls to take his side to the highest-ever PSL total.

BRIEF SCORES

Islamabad United: 238-3

Cameron Delport: 117 not out (60)

Asif Ali: 55 not out (21)

Lahore Qalandars: 189-9

Sohail Akhtar: 75 (34)

Faheem Ashraf: 6-19

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