Lahore Qalandars bagged a thrilling five-wicket win vs Islamabad United in match 15 of PSL 2021 in Abu Dhabi.
Sohail Akhtar, the captain of Lahore Qalandars, won the toss and decided to bowl.
Ben Dunk, Tim David, James Faulkner and Rashid Khan were the four foreign players in the Lahore squad.
Faulkner’s triple strike
Lahore opted for the liquid pace of Shaheen Afridi and the military medium of James Faulkner to open the attack.
Openers Usman Khawaja and Colin Munro treated Afridi with respect but took the attack to Faulkner identifying him as the weak link.
Munro blasted Faulkner for a four and a six but fell in the same over, clean bowled by Faulker as he played the wrong line.
The score stood at 12 for 1.
Faulkner’s lack of pace was a boon on the slow pitch.
Rohail Nazir was undone by an off-cutter that slowed off the surface and skipper Shadab Khan fell soon after, with the score at 42 for 3.
Faulkner went to complete his 4 overs on the trot and by bagging the first 3 wickets, put his side in control.
Islamabad kept losing wickets throughout the innings and only a cameo by Faheem Ashraf took the score past the 140 mark.
Ashraf top scored with a 24-ball 27, studded with 2 fours and a six.
Not surprisingly, Rashid Khan, who is surely the world’s top ranked T20 bowler sparkled yet agin with unbelievable figures of 9-1 off his 4 overs!
Lahore start well
The Lahore openers, Fakhar Zaman and Sohail Akhtar fluently but lost their first wicket when Zaman was cleaned up by Faheem Ashraf.
21-1 quickly became 44-2 when Mohammad Faizan was clean bowled by Shadab Khan.
When Sohail Akhtar fell for a well-made 40 off 30 balls, the wheels suddenly came off.
Mohammad Hafeez and Ben Dunk were unable to force the pace as the asking rate mounted.
Lahore was staring at defeat and things only got worse when Hasan Ali bowled a brilliant 19th over, conceding just 7 runs and getting rid of Dunk.
Shadab’s strange decision
Lahore required 16 in the last over with Rashid Khan and Tim David at the crease.
Instead of coming on to bowl, skipper Shadab tossed the ball to Hussain Talat.
The result was catastrophic as Rashid Khan creamed him for 3 successive boundaries.
The next 3 balls yielded the 4 required runs as Lahore snatched an incredible victory.
The man of the match was Rashid Khan for his all-round display.
With this win, Lahore Qalandars leap to the top of the table.
Lahore Qalandars 144 for 5 (Sohail 40, Hasan 2-27) beat Islamabad United143 for 9 (Faheem 27, Faulkner 3-32) by five wickets