Led by a sensational ton from Cameron Delport and the joint fastest half-century in PSL history from Asif Ali, defending champions Islamabad carried on from where they left off at Karachi in the last edition to post a mammoth 238-3 in their 20 overs.
The score from Islamabad is now the highest total ever posted in PSL history and major credit for this feat goes to Delport who was in unstoppable form at the National Stadium.
The South Africa batsman’s ton is the first-ever in PSL history to be scored on Pakistan soil and was littered with some mighty hits to the boundary ropes. Here, we take a closer look at the 29-year-old’s display against his former employers Lahore.
RUNS SCORED: 117*
BALLS FACED: 60
Opening the batting for Islamabad, Delport saw Luke Ronchi and Philip Salt fall early at the other end but the South African was in the mood from the very go at Karachi. Making full use of the powerplay restrictions, the left-hander brought up his half-century off just 23 balls with some lusty hitting.
He shared a 118-run stand for the third wicket alongside Chadwick Walton and continued to go on the charge even when the latter fell for 48. Delport brought up his third T20 ton off just 49 deliveries after thrashing Sandeep Lamichhane for two consecutive sixes.
The South African continued his onslaught in the death overs where he played second fiddle to Asif Ali who brought up a record joint fasted PSL fifty off just 17 balls.
Highest ever #HBLPSL team total— PakistanSuperLeague (@thePSLt20) March 9, 2019
Highest T20 total at Karachi
First HBL PSL 100 in 🇵🇰
16 (most) sixes in an innings
Joint-fastest half-century in the league (@AasifAli2018 with 50 off 17 balls)
Defending champions post 2⃣3⃣8⃣ on the scoreboard.#LQvIU pic.twitter.com/W4bW0Op9s0
Positive mindset from ball one. Delport has not had the best of PSL campaigns with Islamabad with a 71 in the clash against Peshawar Zalmi at Dubai being his only saving grace prior to the Pakistan leg.
However, he was determined to play on the front foot from the very go at Karachi and that positive approach paid off handsomely. Making full use of the lightening-quick outfield and the unusually small boundary lengths at the National Stadium, Delport was middling the ball beautifully with Lahore’s bowlers being taken to the cleaners.
On an excellent batting pitch, Delport was equally effective against both pacers and spinners in what is probably the best T20 innings he has ever played.
BACK-TO-BACK SIXES FOR CAMERON DELPORT AND HE REACHES HIS CENTURY IN SOME STYLE@Cam12Delport has registered the fastest century in Pakistan Super League history— Cricingif (@_cricingif) March 9, 2019
Ball-by-ball scorecard 👉 https://t.co/YtGW6X5svO #LQvIU #PSL2019 #KhelDeewanoKa #CricketForAll pic.twitter.com/gOVVxYpQ4H
With his ‘see ball, hit ball’ approach on Saturday, Delport was always living on the edge. That could have proved costly for the Islamabad opener when he was batting on 26 with Sohail Akhtar putting down a catch in the deep.
Delport had failed to get a clean connection on the Shaheen Afridi delivery but a lack of communication between Akhtar and Agha Salman saw the chance ultimately put down by Lahore.
That proved to be costly for the Qalandars with Delport making them pay in some style.
VERDICT – 10/10
BACK-TO-BACK SIXES FROM CAMERON DELPORT @Cam12Delport attacks @iShaheenAfridi and it is the same result on both occasions. Massive hitting! Islamabad United are 55/2 now— Cricingif (@_cricingif) March 9, 2019
Ball-by-ball scorecard 👉 https://t.co/YtGW6X5svO #LQvIU #PSL2019 #KhelDeewanoKa #CricketForAll pic.twitter.com/uA6Fo720jA
With his patchy displays in the UAE leg of the 2019 PSL, questions marks were being raised over Delport’s spot in the Islamabad playing XI. However, the South African erased those doubts in the most perfect of occasions just when his team needed it the most.
Granted, the conditions for batting were excellent at the National Stadium but Delport still had to hit those runs and he did it with aplomb in the end. By registering the first-ever PSL ton on Pakistan soil, Delport’s knock will be live long in the history books of the competition.
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