Shadab, Salman help United take a solid start

By our correspondent
LAHORE: An unbeaten knock of 74 by Shadab Khan, which included an unbeaten 138-run partnership with Salman Ali Agha (64 not out, 31b, 7x4s, 3x6s) for the third wicket, led Islamabad United to an eight-wicket win over defending champions Lahore Qalandars in the opening match of the HBL PSL 9 at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Saturday night.
In pursuit of 196 run target, United got off to a confident start, scoring 50 runs in the powerplay while only losing Colin Munro (5, 11b, 1×4) in the process. In the next over, skipper Shadab, coming in to bat at number three, welcomed Haris Rauf with two boundaries keeping the run flow intact.
At the halfway stage, United were 88 for two, with 108 runs required off the final 10 overs. The 11th over of the run-chase saw United batters clinching 14 runs off Haris’ second over.
Requiring 44 off five overs, the 16th over went for 12 runs, while the next over went for 14 runs, with Shadab smashing Haris for two maximums in the over. The 18th over bowled by captain Shaheen Shah Afridi was another expensive over for the home side, as United batter Salman dispatched the left-arm pacer for a four and a six and collected 15 runs in the over.
With three runs required off the final two overs, Shadab finished off the game with a six over long-on as United won the game with 10 balls to spare.
Shadab returned undefeated on 74 off 41 balls, laced with six fours and five sixes, while Salman scored 64 not out off 31 balls, hitting seven fours and three sixes.
Earlier, after being put into bat first, Qalandars got off to a brisk start with the opening pair of Sahibzada Farhan and Fakhar Zaman adding 66 runs in the powerplay. The partnership was broken by Shadab, who took the prized scalp of Fakhar (13, 13b, 1×4) in the seventh over with 67 runs on the board for the home side.
Right-hand batter Sahibzada Farhan was joined by Rassie van der Dussen and the pair could add only 22 runs to the total before Sahibzada (57, 36b, 8x4s, 1×6) fell to left-arm pacer Tymal Mills in the 11th over.
Abdullah Shafique came into bat at number four and struck three towering sixes during his stay on the crease accumulating 28 off 22 balls.
That the Qalandars were able to post 195 for five in their 20 overs was largely due to van der Dussen’s unbeaten knock of 71 off 41 balls, which included four fours and three sixes. The South African batter, who had featured for United in the last edition of HBL PSL, brought up his maiden HBL PSL half-century in today’s game off just 31 balls.
For United, Naseem Shah, who returned to competitive cricket after a gap of almost six months, returned with figures of 4-0-36-1. Leg-spinner Shadab, also returning from injury, gave away 24 runs bagging a solitary wicket in his quota of four overs. Mills was the most successful bowler for United, bagging two wickets for 45 runs in four overs.
Scores in brief:
Lahore Qalandars beat Islamabad United by eight wickets
Lahore Qalandars 195-5, 20 overs, (Rassie van der Dussen 71 not out, Sahibzada Farhan 57, Abdullah Shafique 28; Tymal Mills 2-45, Shadab Khan 1-24)
Islamabad United 200-2, 18.2 overs (Shadab Khan 74 not out, Salman Ali Agha 64 not out, Alex Hales 36; Salman Fayyaz 1-23)
Player of the match – Shadab Khan (Islamabad United)
Sunday’s fixtures: Quetta Gladiators v Peshawar Zalmi, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore (2pm); Multan Sultans v Karachi Kings, Multan Cricket Stadium (7pm)

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