The two openers of Islamabad United, Luke Ronchi and Cameron Delport gave their side a decent start as they came out to chase a big total of 181 runs. The pair contributed 40 runs together in the first six overs without taking too much risk.
However, Delport did not look in complete control at the crease and struggled to score, while his Kiwi partner scored freely. Fawad Ahmed ended Delport’s nervous stay at the crease when he stepped down to play a big shot, but missed it and Sarfraz Ahmed got him stumped on 25 (27). In the same over, the leggie got rid of the talented Phil Salt, who was clean bowled for 2 (3). Whereas, Mohammad Nawaz dismissed Asif Ali with a ripper on a duck.
Despite losing wickets from the other end, Ronchi kept playing in his merry way, taking on bowlers and executing incredible strokes. He raised his half-century on just 31 deliveries.
While the Kiwi wicketkeeper-batsman kept scoring from one end, Samit Patel could not find boundaries at regular interval which not only made the required run rate to creep up, but also put his partner under immense pressure. Eventually, Ronchi looked to hit out on a decent delivery from the leggie, Fawad, but edged it straight up, which was easily caught by Shane Watson at fine-leg after scoring 64 (43).
Soon after his departure, Patel also lost his wicket to the young Mohammad Hasnain, which brought two new batsmen at the crease on a point where United needed more than 14 runs per over to win the match.
The game had practically gone out of United’s reach, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Amad Butt and all the following batsmen looked to score runs swiftly, but kept losing their wickets for the cause, ultimately losing the game contest by 43 runs.
Fawad Ahmed remained the pick of the bowler for Quetta Gladiators as he picked 3 wickets. Whereas, the young Mohammad Hasnain, Sohail Tanvir and Mohammad Nawaz get 2, 1 and 1 wicket respectively.
Quetta Gladiators became the leaders on points table with 14 points under their belt, while, Islamabad United will still have to fight for a berth in the playoffs.
Earlier, the captain of Islamabad United, Mohammad Sami won the toss and elected bowl first in the game of the PSL 4 against Quetta Gladiators at Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
Quetta Gladiators have made a couple of changes with Azam Khan, the son of Moin Khan, making his debut in the Pakistan Super League. Whereas, Islamabad United bring back their young opener, Rizwan Hussain the in the line up.
Quetta Gladiators were off to a flier as Ahmed Shehzad and Shane Watson managed to milk 21 runs in the first over of Shadab Khan, however, Samit Patel got the better of the Aussie batsman in the next over.
Patel trapped Watson in front of the stumps, but a review saved him as it showed that he bottom edged it before the ball hit the pad. On the very next delivery, Watson played a lose delivery of Patel straight Faheem Ashraf on point after scoring 15 on 11 balls.
Watson was replaced by the debutante, Azam Khan, who struggled during his brief stay of 12 runs off 15 deliveries, he fell to Faheem Ashraf who bowled a good short-ish delivery which he edged to Luke Ronchi behind the stumps.
After losing two wickets, Ahmed Shehzad and Riley Russouw stood in the middle and ruled Islamabad United’s bowling attack. The right-handed opening batsman also raised his half-century on just 32 deliveries.
As the partnership looked absolutely threatening, Zafar Gohar provided the reigning champions the much-need breakthrough in the shape of Russouw who scored 23 (17).
Umar Akmal was once again on song for Quetta Gladiators as he went all guns blazing from the word go. The duo of Akmal and Shehzad contributed quickfire 44 runs, before the latter fell off a slower one from Ammad Butt after scoring 21 (17). Butt did not take long to remove his partner, Shehzad for 71 (46) as he was looking to increase the scoring rate.
Islamabad United had some successes in quick successions, removing DJ Bravo, Sarfraz Ahmed, Sohail Tanvir and Fawad Ahmed for 0, 1, 0 and 0 respectively courtesy of Faheem Ashraf and Amad Butt. However, Mohammad Nawaz delivered some counter punches at the end that took his team to 180/9.
Ashraf remained the pick of the bowler for the two-time champions with 4 wickets to his name, while Butt was the other prominent performer with the ball picking three wickets. Samit Patel and Zafar Gohar also picked one wicket each.