Azam, Hasnain shine as Quetta beat Islamabad in PSL 5 opener

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Karachi: Blistering knock by Azam Khan and Mohammad Hasnain’s four-wicket haul helped defending champions Quetta Gladiators beating Islamabad United by three wickets in the opening fixture of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season five at National Stadium.

The 21-year-old Azam, the emerging pick for Gladiators smashed 33-ball 59 that helped Quetta chase the target of 169 for the loss of seven wickets in 18.3 overs.

Earlier, Islamabad United was put in to bat by Gladiators skipper Sarfaraz and Mohammad Nawaz picked the first wicket on the first ball of the match dismissing explosive opener Colin Munro.

Dawid Malan and Luke Ronchi rescued United and added 38 runs for the second-wicket stand until Sohail Khan dismissed Ronchi on 23.

Malan took the charge and scored 64 off 50 balls smashing five fours and three sixes. Islamabad collapsed drastically and lost the last six wickets for just 41 runs. Young pace sensation Mohammad Hasnain claimed four wickets for just 25 runs. Ben Cutting picked three.

In reply of the target of 169, Quetta lost both their openers Jason Roy and Shane Watson inside the first three overs. Ahmed Shehzad departed courtesy brilliant catch by Faheem Ashraf.

Captain Sarfraz and Azam rescued Quetta and added 62 runs for 4th wicket partnership helping Quetta inching closer towards the victory.

Later, United made a comeback and picked Azam and Nawaz (23) in quick succession but Ben Cutting smashed 12-ball 22 to complete Quetta’s win with 9 balls to spare. Mohammad Musa was the pick of the bowlers for United as he claimed three for 30 in his quota of four overs.

Hasnain was awarded as the man of the match for his impressive bowling performance.

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