Naeem Khan Niazi
LAHORE, Feb 22 (APP):Islamabad United openers Luke Ronchi and Colin Munro joined forces to blast Multan Sultans bowlers to all parts of the ground and overhaul Sultans’ total of 164 for the loss of two wickets and record their first win in the HBL PSL V 2020 at the Gaddafi stadium here on Saturday.
New Zealanders Luke Ronchi and Colin Munro blasted the Multan Sultans bowling attack to all parts of the ground during the powerplay scoring 63 runs in the first 6 overs and the United were quite ahead of the targeted run rate when Munro departed at 92 in the 10th over off the bowling of Shahid Afridi.
Colin Munro hit an aggressive fifty laced with three fours and four sixes in 31 balls and was bowled off the bowling of Shahid Afridi in the 10th over while Luke Ronchi smashed 74 (44) with nine fours and two sixes.
Islamabad United had lost their opening match of the PSL 2020 campaign to the defending champions Quetta Gladiators in the opening match of the HBL PSL V at National Stadium Karachi.
Both the batsmen were harsh on Imran Tahir who was immediately taken off the attack after he conceded 22 runs in the second over of the Islamabad United innings. Moeen Ali, who was the main tormentor of Lahore Qalandars the last night, was also treated ruthlessly by Ronchi and was immediately taken off the attack as he conceded 19 runs off his lone over.
Amad Butt was the star bowler for Islamabad United as he picked four wickets including James Vince, Rilee Rossouw, Moeen Ali and Sohail Tanvir and return with a miserly figures of 4-27 while Faheem Ashraf got two wickets for 34 runs in his quota of four overs. Muhammad Musa and Akif javed also picked a wicket each in their spells.
Multan Sultans were unable to post a challenging total after lost flurry of wickets after a slow start in the powerplay with 41-1. James Vince tried to provide some stability with his knock of 42 (31) but once he got out in the 10th over with score at 87-4, it all looked bleak for the Multan Sultans. But it was an unsung hero in wicket-keeper batsman Zeeshan Ashraf who scored a scintillating knock of 50 (29) balls to provide some respectability to the Multan Sultans total of 164-8.
A maiden PSL half-century by the wicket keeper batsman Zeeshan Ashraf was the mainstay of the Multan Sultans innings and gave the Sultan bowlers something to challenge Islamabad United batting.
Multan Sultan’s ground fielding was also poor as they conceded many runs through misfielding while Multan Sultans captain Shan Masood dopped Luke Ronchi off the bowling of Mohammad Irfan in the fourteenth over.
Though the dew played a little role during the second innings, although Multan Sultan captain Shan Masood admitted it was not the excuse for the loss against Islamabad United, no Multan Sultans bowler could contain the ruthless United openers. Mohammad Ilyas was the most economical who conceded 17 runs in his 2.4 overs for one wicket. The other successful bowler was Shahid Afridi who picked one wicket for 25 runs off his 3 overs.
Islamabad United perch second on the leaders table by virtue of a better run-rate with the first position is held by Karachi Kings.
Earlier, Islamabad United captain Sahdab Khan won the toss and elected to field first. His decision to field first in the day-night fixture paid dividends as the United batsmen overhauled the target with 25 balls to spare.
Islamabad United: Luke Ronchi (wk), Colin Munro, David Malan, Colin Ingram, Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan (C), Faheem Ashraf, Amad Butt, Muhammad Musa, Akif Javed
Multan Sultans:Shan Masood (C), James Vince, Moeen Ali, Rilee Rossouw, Khushdil Shah, Zeeshan Ashraf (wk), Shahid Afridi, Muhammad Musa, Imran Tahir, Mohammad Irfan