Jean-Paul Duminy smashed a solid half-century and pacer Faheem Ashraf took three wickets to steer Islamabad to a comfortable six-wicket win over Quetta Gladiators which lifted them to the top of the Pakistan Super League table in Sharjah on Thursday.
Duminy scored 47-ball 54 with four boundaries and two sixes to help Islamabad overtake a modest 148-run target set by Quetta, taking their tally to 14 from nine matches.
They now wait for their last match, against Karachi Kings to decide who they play in the March 18 qualifier in Dubai.
This becomes Islamabad’s sixth win a row after another slow start. Since beating Lahore Qalandars in a Super over the finish, Islamabad has beaten Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Multan before this match.
Duminy held on end intact as he saw Luke Ronchi (ten), Alex Hales (16) and Shadab Khan (18) lose wickets, but the left-hander ensured the good work of the bowlers do not go waste.
Hussain Talat lived up to his potential with an aggressive 17-ball 28 not out with two fours and as many sixes as he added 43 for the fourth wicket stands with Duminy. When Duminy was dismissed, Islamabad needed 18 more to win a task easily accomplished with Asif Ali smashing the winning six in his 16 not out.
Just like Karachi Kings in the earlier match in the day, Quetta were also let down by their top overseas players as Shane Watson (eight), Kevin Pietersen (seven), Jason Roy 917) and Rilee Rossouw (16 not out) did not do much to lift Quetta.
Skipper Sarfraz added 64 for the fourth wicket with Umar Amin who made a laborious 27-ball 28. Sarfraz hit three fours and two sixes in his 30-ball knock. Rossouw and Hassaan Khan (15 not out) added an invaluable 27 runs for the eight wickets.
Ashraf had accounted for Pietersen, Anwar Ali and Mohammad Nawaz in an inspired spell of bowling, taking his tally to 15 — the most in this PSL.
Ammad Butt took 2-30.
Friday’s matches will decide the final line up for playoffs, with Peshawar Zalmi taking on Lahore Qalandars in a do-or-die game while Karachi meet Islamabad United.