PSL 2016: Islamabad United beat Quetta Gladiators to become inaugural champions
Islamabad United won the first edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) after they defeated the Quetta Gladiators by 6 wickets at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday. Captain Misbah-ul-Haq scored the winning runs after coming into bat with 2 runs required.
Chasing 175 to win, Islamabad United got off to a blazing start, with Dwayne Smith and Sharjeel Khan taking Anwar Ali for 15 in the first over of the innings. Sharjeel, who scored a century in the previous match, didn’t get much of the strike in the opening partnership and was bowled by Nathan McCullum for 13.
Brad Haddin joined Smith in the middle and after a slow start, he took the attack to the bowlers. The former Australian wicket-keeper brought up his half-century in just 31 deliveries.
Smith had a horrid time in his last match against Peshawar Zalmi but was dominant from the word-go in the final. He top scored for Islamabad with 73 from just 51 balls.
Dwayne Smith 2 days ago: 19 from 37 balls. Strike rate of 51.35— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) February 23, 2016
Dwayne Smith today: 73 from 51 balls. Strike rate of 143.13#PSLFinal
When Smith was dismissed by Zulfiqar Babar in the 16th over, Islamabad needed just 36 runs to win from 27 deliveries. There was added drama in the next over as Aizaz Cheema got rid off Andre Russell for 7.
There wasn’t any twist after that as Haddin and Khalid Latif did the needful and chased down the total in the 19th over. Haddin ended unbeaten on 61 – a knock that included 5 sixes.
Earlier on, Quetta Gladiators came back strong after a poor start to their innings mainly thanks to the efforts of Ahmed Shehzad and Kumar Sangakkara. After Mohammad Irfan removed Bismillah Khan with the score on zero, the Sarfraz Ahmed-led side struggled to get going in the Powerplay overs.
With Kevin Pietersen failing to repeat his heroics from the playoff match, the Gladiators managed just 36 for the loss of 2 wickets at the end of 6 overs. An 87-run partnership from Shehzad and Kumar Sangakkara helped rebuild the innings for Quetta.
Sangakkara struck a fluent 55 from 32 deliveries that included 7 fours and 2 sixes while Shehzad top scored for the Gladiators with 64 from just 39 balls. The 24-year-old ended his innings with 9 fours and 1 hit over the fence.
Andre Russell, despite proving to be expensive, took 3 wickets. Irfan, though, was the pick of the bowlers – conceding just 25 runs from his 4 overs and picking up 2 wickets. Samuel Badree and Mohammad Sami picked up a wicket a piece.
Considering it was a final, 174 was a respectable score but it wasn’t enough at the end of the day.
Quetta Gladiators 174/7 (20 overs) [Shehzad 64, Sangakkara 55, Russell 3/36, Irfan 2/25]
Islamabad United 175/4 (18.4 overs) [Smith 73, Haddin 61*, McCullum 1/25, Anwar Ali 1/29]