Faheem Ashraf’s best sinks Lahore Qalanders as Islamabad United qualify for PSL playoffs

The first match of Pakistan Super League’s fourth edition in Pakistan saw many records broken, as Islamabad United pushed Lahore Qalandars to the verge of exit with a 49 run win in Karachi. The match not only saw Islamabad scoring the highest number of runs in a PSL innings but the best bowling as well, as Faheem Ashraf made the premiere night memorable by taking six wickets in just 4 overs.

The defending champions rode on an unbeaten century from Cameron Delport who scored the fifth century ever of PSL history but the quickest in terms of deliveries as he took 49 balls to reach the three figures. His knock helped his side move past the previous best (204 for 4) against the very team that scored it. Then there was Asif Ali’s joint fastest PSL fifty (off 17 balls) that helped his side end the innings at 238 for the loss of just 3 wickets.

When it was the Qalandars chance to bat, they fell to Faheem Ashraf’s 6 for 19 which sealed Lahore’s dismal performance in the match and proved Islamabad’s superiority. The all-rounder took three wickets in his initial spell and returned to take three more to dent the already dented Lahoris.

Even Sohail Akhtar’s 75 were unable to help his side win the match and stay in contention, as they managed 189 runs for the loss of 9 wickets, falling short by 49 runs in the end.

After 10 matches, Islamabad United end the season with 10 points, 4 less than table toppers Quetta Gladiators and two behind Peshawar Zalmi. In the only match on Sunday, Karachi Kings will play for a place in the next round against Quetta Gladiators, and a win for Karachi will seal oust Lahore Qalandars from the race of the playoffs, a Quetta victory will mean they can still qualify for the next round.

Nimra Arshad

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