Opener Luke Ronchi smashed the joint equal fastest half-century in Pakistan Super League as Islamabad United inflicted sixth straight defeat on Lahore Qalandars with a six-wicket victory at Dubai stadium on Thursday.
Ronchi reached fifty off just 22 balls on his way to 41-ball 77 including six sixes and five boundaries as Islamabad overhauled Lahore’s stiff 164-run target in just 17.4 overs for their fourth win in six games, jumping to second on the table with eight points.
Umar Akmal dropped from Lahore team for this game, who had the record for the fastest fifty off 22 balls against Quetta in the inaugural PSL in 2016.
Misbah-ul-Haq hit the winning stroke and finished at 12 not out while Sahibzada Farhan remained not out on 2.
Multan Sultans are at the top of the table with nine points while Karachi Kings can come back on number two if they beat Quetta Gladiators in the second match on Thursday.
Whereas, if they lose to Gladiators, the Sarfraz-led side will climb up at the second or third position depending on their NRR.
Ronchi was in a punishing mood as he put 47 in 4.3 overs with Jean-Paul Duminy who made 17-ball 21. Ronchi then added 87 for the second wicket with Shadab Khan — promoted to number three — who made a brisk 23-ball 32 with three sixes.
Lahore failed to stop the flow of runs and are close to the exit door, needing to win all their four games and hope other top teams also lose.
Lahore once again spurned a good start.
Lahore were given a dazzling start of 56 by Anton Devcich and Fakhar Zaman (34 off 24 balls) and then another 45 were added for the second wicket with Agha Salman scoring just eight. But their momentum was cruelly broken by Denesh Ramdin who managed just nine off 20 balls.
That left Lahore with just 22 runs between overs 10-15. Devcich was finally dismissed for 62. Brendon McCullum smashed three sixes and two boundaries to lift the tempo. But Lahore once again lost their last eight wickets for just 62 runs.
Faheem Ashraf was the pick of the bowlers with 3-32.
Karachi Kings take on Quetta Gladiators in the second match on Thursday.