Lahore demolished Islamabad

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  1. LAHORE:  Lahore Qalandars rampaged Islamabad United to maintain its hegemony with a 110 runs victory in the 16th match of the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) season eight on Monday night.
    Lahore Qalandars with a collective effort reached a mammoth 200 for seven against Islamabad United which in turn crumbled before hosts attack to 90 in 13.5 overs, with 37 balls to spare.
    In the next encounter of the PSL at the same venue, Lahore Qalandars, having a hat-trick of win, will take on Quetta Gladiators on March 2 (Thursday).
    Islamabad United initiated their chase in the same fashion than Lahore Qalandars started their innings. Their openers Colin Munro and Rahmanullah Gurbaz scored 41 runs for the first wicket after the latter was sent packing by Zaman Khan for 23. However, United timed 56 runs in the batting power-play but when at 54 Munro who made 18 became the victim of David Wiese.
    Lahore Qalandars kept tightening the noose thereon to ignite collapse in the opponent’s ranks. They snared another Islamabad wicket in the 7th over. This time round it was Rassie van der Dussen, who was the third visiting team batters to head back to the pavilion. Haris Rauf made Dussen gifted his wicket with Islamabad reeling at 59 for three. Wiese for his second wicket reduced Islamabad for another wicket. Islamabad United skipper Shadab Khan having scored four runs was the fourth pillar to fall.
    In the ninth over, Islamabad lost their fifth wicket and that of Asif Ali off Rashid Khan with Azam Khan staring from the other end as a sitting duck. But in the very next over Azam became the third target of Wiese and within 16 balls, Islamabad were six wickets down for 68 by the 9th over.
    Rashid Khan for his second wicket snared Tom Curran (10) in the 11th over with Islamabad struggling at 81 for seven. And when at 90, Islamabad lost their remaining three wickets. Eight of the United players even did not reach the double figures while Faheem Ashraf remained not out at four.
    As Shaheen Shah Afridi could not get a wicket, his attack fellows in David Wiese had three, Rashid and Sikandar Raza got two each while Zaman and Haris shared one wickets apiece.
    Opting to bat first, the Qalandars’ batters maintained the sequence of hammering the opposition to post their second successive 200-plus total in the ongoing extravaganza.
    The massive total was a combination of every Qalandar batsman that came to the crease and each and every one of them played his part in building up the score. But Abdullah Shafique and Sam Billings were the main batters after Fakhar who gave spine to the total.
    Their openers Fakhar Zaman and Mirza Tahir Baig manufactured a perfect start for their side and the two contributed 58-run partnership.
    They started their innings by scoring 12 runs in the first over of Zeeshan Zameer, with both Fakhar and Tahir hitting a boundary each.
    It was United skipper Shadab Khan who dismissed the latter in his first over to get a much-needed breakthrough for his side. Tahir could muster 20 off 17 deliveries, aided with two boundaries and a six. The in-form pair scored 57 runs in six overs of batting powerplay.
    Lahore Qalandars lost another wicket in the eighth over as Fakhar Zaman was bowled by Tom Curran after scoring 36 runs and defending champions lost second wicket for 62 runs.
    Shafique and Sam Billings then together had a partnership of 71 runs for the third wicket but Tom Curran dismissed both of them to dent Lahore Qalandars’ progress. Abdullah Shafique made 45 runs off 24 balls whereas Sam Billings scored 33 runs off 23 balls.
    Shadab Khan got his second wicket when he dismissed Hussain Talat for six runs and Lahore Qalandars were 149 for loss of five wickets after 16 overs.
    Lahore Qalandars lost their sixth wicket for 159 runs but then Sikandar Raza and Rashid Khan had a partnership of 40 runs off 20 balls to make sure that target was at least 200.
    Rashid Khan got out while trying to hit a big shot, but he did his job fairly when he was dismissed for 18 runs off 12 balls.
    Skipper Shaheen Shah Afridi took a run with a bye to make sure Lahore Qalandars reached 200 for the loss of seven wickets.
    Earlier, Lahore Qalandars elected to bat first once again against Islamabad United, as the defending champions are hoping to complete hat-trick of wins in PSL 8.
    Lahore Qalandars did not make any change in their playing XI and retained the same side which defeated Peshawar Zalmi the previous day. Whereas, Islamabad United included Zeeshan Zameer in place of Mubashir Khan and included Tom Curran in place of Fazalhaq Farooqi.

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