Cricket / psl

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Defending Champions Islamabad United Start Their PSL Campaign With a Victory.
The defending Champions, Islamabad United started their PSL campaign with a five wicket victory over Lahore Qalandars at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Batting first, the Qalandars set a target of 172 runs which looked to be a decent score on Dubai pitch but they had an excellent opening partnership of 97 runs and had only lost a wicket on 129 with more than six overs to be bowled. One could say that they might have pushed a little more and maybe got to 190 or maybe even 200. SOURCE After the fall of first wicket, the stage was set for some fireworks as AB de Villiers walked in at number 3. He started playing his shots right from the start but couldn't clear the long off boundary and holed out to Philip Salt. Lahore Qalandars were not able to capitalize on the start provided by the top order batters and eventually they were restricted to 171 in the allocated 20 overs with Fakhar Zaman being the top scorer, making 65 of 43 balls. Mohammed Sami marshelled his troops well in the field after Lahore dominated the first half of the innings. Faheem Ashraf was the pick of the bowlers as he picked up two wickets in his four overs. The left arm pacer Waqas Maqsood also bowled well in the later half of the innings. After the departure of Fakhar Zaman, Qalandars couldn't really push the accelerator and kept loosing wickets. SOURCE Chasing a target of 172, Islamabad United got off to a good start as the openers put on 45 runs for the first wicket. Luke Ronchi was the highest run scorer in the previous edition of PSL and he started this season with a small but impactful innings. He opening partnership Rizwan Hussain looked a classy left hander but only faced 15 deliveries. Things were looking good for United until the start of 6th over in which saw three batters back to the hut, courtesy of Rahat Ali. Both openers and Philip Salt fell in that over of Rahat Ali and he was on a hat-trick as well. Hussain Talat and Cameron Delport then stitched a partnership of 55 runs for the fourth to make sure Islamabad were in the hunt again. Rahat Ali came back in 14th over and picked up a wicket of the very first ball of his new spell which meant he was on a hat-trick again for the second time in a match. Hussain Talat's wicket in the next over meant that the match was still on. They needed more than 10 runs per over after the fall of Hussain Talat. SOURCE Faheem Ashraf hit Yasir Shah for 14 runs in three balls to bring the run rate down and ease the nerves of United fans. This was followed by Asif Ali's brutal hitting off Rahat Ali's final over where he pulled him for two consecutive sixes over mid- wicket. Faheem Ashraf sealed the match by hitting a huge six off Hafeez over long-on to give Islamabad United a victory in the first match.
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