By Jawad Hussain
KARACHI, February 14, 2019 (SNN247.com) — Fakhar Zaman smashed a classy half-century but Lahore Qalandars crumbled towards the business end of their innings in the opening match of the Pakistan Super League 4 against Islamabad United at Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai, UAE on Thursday night.
Islamabad United got off to a disastrous start with the ball, but Faheem Ashraf and Waqas Maqsood brought them back into the match with a great spell of medium-paced bowling. Together, the duo gave away only 49 runs from eight overs. The pair of medium pacers also captured three wickets, which affected the Lahore Qalandars’ progress towards a 200 runs-plus total on the board.
Fakhar Zaman (65 runs from 43 balls) and Sohail Akhtar () built the foundation of a big total for Lahore Qalandars in the first match of the Pakistan Super League 4. Waqas Maqsood picked up the first wicket of the PSL 4 when he got rid of Sohail Akhtar. This was also Waqas Maqsood’s maiden wicket in Pakistan Super League career.
South African cricket legend AB de Villiers (24 runs from 17 balls – 2 fours, 1 six) had a brief stay in the middle but he did make his presence felt with a selection of classy shots. Once Lahore Qalandars lost Fakhar Zaman and AB de Villiers, the innings crumbled on its head. Skipper Mohammad Hafeez opted for some experimentation with the batting order and demoted himself down the order to give Anton Devcich (14 runs from 12 balls), Brendan Taylor (2 runs from 3 balls), and Carlos Brathwaite (6 runs from 6 balls – 1 four). The experiment didn’t work for the Qalandars as they could score 8/171 from their 20 overs.
Faheem Ashraf (4-0-24-2) was the pick of the bowlers for the Islamabad United whereas Waqas Maqsood (4-0-25-1) also bowled brilliantly. Cameron Delport (2-0-12-1) also chipped in with a miser spell in the middle. Shadab Khan (4-0-34-1) was far from perfect as he registered his worst bowling spell in the Pakistan Super League.
Anton Devcich had an insight about the pitch at the halfway mark. He told the broadcaster, “It’s very very difficult to start on in the middle overs. If you bowl hard at the wicket and take the pace off, it’s very hard to time the ball. Just need to win [regardless of history]. We have a really good group. Some of the younger guys have more experience now and that’ll help. Openers are brilliant, long may their form continue”.