Lahore upstages Islamabad for first win

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Live: Islamabad United vs Lahore Qalandars
Live: Islamabad United vs Lahore Qalandars

Grant Elliott took four wickets and Jason Roy hit a sparkling half-century to lead Lahore Qalandars’s comeback in the Pakistan Super League with a workmanlike performance against a depleted Islamabad United at the Dubai International Stadium on Saturday (February 11).

Elliott grabbed 4 for 23 in his concise three over spell to put the brakes on Islamabad United’s progress, who mustered 158 for 7 thanks to Misbah-ul-Haq’s 36-ball 61 after the title-holders were put in to bat on the third day of the tournament.

One of Lahore’s two wins had also come against Islamabad, and this time they looked more determined after having lost their first match against Quetta Gladiators from a winning position on Friday.

Islamabad were naturally hit by the expulsion of Sharjeel Khan, the dashing opener, and Khalid Latif, the top-order batsman, who were sent back home on Friday, with spot-fixing charges swirling around them.

Sami Billings (37) and Dwayne Smith (31) gave Islamabad a sound start before Elliott dismissed both in the space of two balls and one run.

Brad Haddin, hero of Islamabad’s win in the first match against Peshawar Zalmi on Thursday, also didn’t last long, falling for just 9 to leave Islamabad 97 for 3.

It was left to Misbah to lift the innings and show he was still good to play for Pakistan at the international level. Misbah smashed three sixes and five boundaries in his 36-ball knock and lifted his team to 158 for 7 in their 20 overs.

Roy then played a responsible innings of 60 not out off 51 balls and ensured the target was reached in the 19th over. With fellow opener Brendon McCullum (25 off 10 balls with four boundaries and a six), Roy added a brisk 38 in 2.3 overs before Islamabad took two quick wickets to check the chase.

Roy then found an able partner in Umar Akmal as the duo added 71 for the third wicket to put their team back in control. Umar hit a quickfire 26-ball 35 with two sixes and three boundaries, and when he was out, Sunil Narine hit two sixes and three fours off just 12 balls to complete the chase.

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