KARACHI, Feb 12 (APP): Lahore Qalandars scored their first win of
the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2017 tournament, ending the winning streak of defending champions Islamabad United at Dubai International Stadium on Saturday.
Opener Jason Roy slammed an unbeaten 60 studded with six fours and
a solitary six as Qalandars chased down United’s total of 159 to win by
six wickets.
Skipper Brendon McCullum set the tone of the innings scoring a brisk
25 off only 10 balls. Umar Akmal chipped in with a useful 35 while Sunil Narine helped his team gallop past the target in 18.2 overs with a 12 ball-26 run innings that included two sixes and three fours.
United posted a competitive total courtesy an unbeaten 61 run innings
by captain Misbah ul Haq off only 36 balls after being put into bat.
The United skipper led from the front hitting five sixes and three
fours taking full use of the platform provided by openers Sam Billings
(37) and Dwayne Smith (31) who added 73 runs in their alliance.
Misbah took on the Qalandars’ bowlers with shots all around the
park besides the five maximums he struck.
United coach Dean Jones purred with delight at Misbah’s heroics
but lamented it went in vain.
“Age is no barrier if you are really having fun. Looking at the
balance and the position his bat swing was really cool. I hope kids
watched the way he batted today. It was terrific,” said the former Australian player at the post-match press conference.
“Batting is not a problem. We have to get our bowling right. At
the moment our batting has gone pretty well. Good thing is we have
a four-day break to regroup,” he said.
Grant Elliot was the pick of the Qalandars’ bowlers claiming
four wickets in his three overs that went for 23 runs.
“I think it was just a good cricket wicket to be honest. You had
to try something different. You can’t be too predictable taking the
pace off the ball and executing yorkers when you are under bit of
pressure,” said Elliott who lauded the Dubai International Stadium
“Last year they had more cricket on it. They are a lot slower
and bit fresher this year. Ball is coming on lot better than it does.
It’s a little bit tougher for the bowler. I think there is not
much variation. It is good for cricket viewing. Everyone wants to
see a few sixes,” said the New Zealand all-rounder.