Lahore Qalandars have leapfrogged to the top of the points table.
A big contribution to their win came courtesy their overseas players, Rashid Khan, Singaporean Tim David and Aussie James Faulkner.
They clinched a nail-biting five-wicket win vs Islamabad United in match 15 of PSL 2021 in Abu Dhabi.
With this win, they have four wins in five matches.
Sohail Akhtar, the captain of Lahore Qalandars, won the toss and put Islamabad to bat.
Islamabad openers fail
Colin Munro and Usman Khawaja opened the batting for Islamabad.
For Lahore, Shaheen Afridi, their star bowler opened the attack.
Munro and Khawaja were circumspect against Afridi but their eyes lit up when they saw James Faulkner come in to bowl the second over.
Munro exploded against Faulkner, hitting him for a four and a six.
However, this temptation of easy runs proved to be his downfall as but he was clean bowled by Faulkner in the same over.
But Faulkner wasn’t done.
He bagged the next 2 wickets – Rohail Nazir falling to an off-cutter and Islamabad skipper Shadab Khan in his second and third over respectively.
At 42-3, the spine of the Islamabad innings was totally broken.
This was the perfect time for the introduction of the world’s top T20 exponent, Rashid Khan.
Rashid applied a stranglehold on the Islamabad batsmen from which they couldn’t recover.
His final figures read – 4 overs, 9 runs, 1 wicket!
The only note of aggression came from Faheem Ashraf who scored a 24-ball 27, with 2 fours and a six.
Despite this, the score of 143 for 9 was a handy total.
Lahore almost botch up the chase
Fakhar Zaman and Sohail Akhtar, the Lahore openers were not at their best.
Not surprisingly, Zaman was the first to fall, bowled by Faheem Ashraf.
Next, Mohammad Faizan followed suit, clean bowled by Shadab Khan.
Only Sohail Akhtar looked fluent and contributed 40 off 30 balls, before he too got out.
The onus was on Mohammad Hafeez and Ben Dunk to accelerate but they were unable to force the pace.
The pressure was on Lahore when Hasan Ali’s 19th over yielded just 7 runs and also got rid of Dunk.
16 required in last over
Islamabad held the edge with Rashid Khan and Tim David at the crease.
That’s when skipper Shadab Khan made a decision that was bizarre, to say the least.
He asked the inexperienced Hussain Talat to bowl the crunch over.
Rashid Khan made full use of this by smashing him for 3 successive boundaries as Lahore romped to an unlikely win.
Due to his amazing performances with bat and ball, Rashid Khan earned the man of the match award.
Lahore Qalandars 144 for 5 (Sohail 40, Hasan 2-27) beat Islamabad United143 for 9 (Faheem 27, Faulkner 3-32) by five wickets