Faheem Ashraf finished with career-best figures of 6-19 to propel Islamabad United to beat Lahore Qalandars by 49 runs in a high-scoring match at National Stadium Karachi on Saturday.
It was Cameron Delport who showed class with the bat by scoring 117 runs off 60 balls to help United reach a record total of 238 runs in the history of PSL so far. Asif Ali and Chadwick Walton also played a crucial role with the bat for the men in red.
After sending United to bat first, Qalandars got two early breakthroughs with Shaheen Shah Afridi and Sandeep Lamichhane taking a wicket each. Afridi was on song sending Luke Ronchi back to the pavilion on the first ball of the inning. Ronchi walked back on naught.
Later, Lamichhane hunt Philip Salt to reduce Qalandars to 32-2. Philip Salt danced down the pitch to loft the ball but misjudged it completely and the ball went straight in the hands of Haris Sohail who was covering mid-off.
Thereafter, Walton (48) along with Cameron Delport put 118 runs off 67 balls on the scoreboard for the third wicket. David Wiese bowled a perfect yorker at middle stumps to get rid of Chadwick Walton who fell just two runs short to his half-century.
Cameron Delport did a great job for United hitting 13boundaries and six maximums during his stay at the crease. In the end, Asif scored joint-fastest half-century of the PSL on just 17 balls to give United further edge in the match. He made 55 runs off 21 balls.
In reply, Qalandars were off to a perfect start by scoring 50 runs in just four overs but Faheem did the destruction taking wickets after regular intervals.
Faheem deceived Anton Devcich to bring the first breakthrough for his team as the left-hander misjudged the ball and gave a simple catch at covers. Later, he got rid of dangerous Fakhar Zaman as Philip Salt took a brilliant catch on long-on. Salt managed to get 38 runs.
Asif Ali at point region took a good catch to send Haris Sohail back to the pavilion for naught which reduced Qalandars to 70-3.
Sohail Akhtar fought hard in the end for Qalandars by smashing 75 runs off 34 balls including eight boundaries and five sixes.
Apart from Fahim’s brilliant bowling, Shadab Khan and Rumman Raees took a wicket each conceding 37 and 45 runs respectively.
With this win, United have qualified for the playoffs of the PSL season four. Qalandars still have a chance to qualify for the last stage but if Karachi Kings beat Quetta Gladiators on Sunday (March 10) the Qalandars will get out of the tournament.