The match 26 of the Pakistan Super League 2023 brought more excitement for the fans as Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars went up against each other on Thursday, March 9 at the Pindi Club Ground, Rawalpindi.
The Qalandars’ captain Shaheen Shah Afridi won the toss and elected to bat first on a belter of a track. However, they got an early blow as opener Abdullah Shafique departed in the first over itself after scoring just 1 run. Kamran Ghulam walked in at number three and stabilised the innings with Fakhar Zaman, who looked in fine touch.
The duo was involved in a massive 122-run partnership off 61 balls for the second wicket where Fakhar did the bulk of the scoring. Ghulam was eventually dismissed for 41 off 30 balls as Mohammad Wasim Jr. gave United their second breakthrough.
However, Fakhar continued his blistering innings and put on a magnificent exhibition of attacking strokeplay. He got involved in a 70-run stand for the third wicket in 42 balls with Sam Billings, taking his side close to the 200-run mark.
The southpaw was finally dismissed for 115 off 57 balls, after smashing eight fours and eight sixes in his innings. An unbeaten quick-fire knock by Rashid Khan where he gathered 15 runs off 5 balls took Qalandars to a total of 226/5 in their allotted 20 overs. For United, Fazalhaq Farooqi emerged as the top performer with the ball finishing with figures of 3/40 in four overs.
United faltered under huge scoreboard pressure
In reply, United looked under pressure right from the first ball of their chase as they remained well behind the required run rate throughout the game. The openers put on a stand of 32 runs for the first wicket in 23 balls but couldn’t utilise the start and succumbed to the scoreboard pressure. Wickets kept falling at regular intervals as batters kept trying to keep up with the required run-rate. As a result, United got bundled out for just 107 in 15.1 overs, handing a 119-run win to Qalandars.
Rashid Khan was the pick of the bowlers for the table toppers, picking up 4/21 in four overs while Zaman Khan and Haris Rauf picked up two wickets each.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww what a winnnn!!!!!!! @lahoreqalandars won by @119 runs . What a brilliant performance shown by bowlers especially @rashidkhan_19 and #Zamankhan 👏❤️. Fakhre Pakistan was once again class today 115 ❤️👑👏 @FakharZamanLive #psl #Qalandars #IslamabadUnited
11:09 PM · Mar 09, 2023
Lahore Qalandars are in strong contention to defend their title @lahoreqalandars looks very dangerous and unbeatable 💎🔥 🔴🆓 Watch LIVE here bit.ly/LivePSLHD #PSL2023 #HBLPSL2023 #PSL #PSL8 #psl8live #LQvsIU #LQvIU #IUvsLQ #IUvLQ
11:06 PM · Mar 09, 2023
Fakhar Zaman century and the opposition smashed in an one-sided match. We have seen it before 😜 #PSL #CT17Final
11:05 PM · Mar 09, 2023
PAKISTAN SUPER LEAGUE PEAKED HERE ❤️ #psl
11:00 PM · Mar 09, 2023
I am disgusted by #PSL – there is disruption and deplorable situation in the country & government is supporting a cricket series???
10:54 PM · Mar 09, 2023
Sorry State of affairs for Islamabad #Pakistan #PSL
10:52 PM · Mar 09, 2023
Congratulations Lahore Qalandars 💪💪💪👏👏👏👏❤️❤️❤️ دما دم مست قلندر @lahoreqalandars @iShaheenAfridi #PSL8 #PSL08 #PSL2023 #PSL #IUvLQ #lahoreqalanders
10:47 PM · Mar 09, 2023
#RashidKhan is a cricket wizard, weaving tales of precision and skill with each delivery. His artistry on the pitch is legendary, leaving batsmen and crowds in awe. A true gem of the sport, Rashid Khan’s legend only grows stronger. #PSL
10:45 PM · Mar 09, 2023
Rashid khan is simply a beast. Bowls his legspin and googly both back of the hand with a slight change in wrist position, unnoticeable by far sight. Bowls over 90kph and still gets that turn. How on earth are you supposed to play him?? #fakhar #rashidkhan #lahoreqalandars #psl
10:35 PM · Mar 09, 2023
#IU is to #PSL what #SouthAfrica is to #WorldCup #PSL8 #IUvLQ #Rawalpindi
10:31 PM · Mar 09, 2023
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