Ronchi, Hales make merry as Islamabad secure playoff spot


Islamabad United 185 for 4 (Ronchi 58, Hales 46, Gul 2-26) beat Multan Sultans 152 (Pollard 73, S Patel 2-11, Butt 2-30) by 33 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

In a nutshell

Recent trends continued to prevail in the PSL, with the resurgent Islamabad United turning in their best performance to flatten Multan by 33 runs. Multan, who have now lost their last four, were set to lose by a significantly bigger margin, but were spared humiliation by an innings of ferocious power-hitting by Kieron Pollard. He belted six sixes in a 47-ball 73 to keep Multan in the contest till the last three overs. However, their bowling performance was far too poor, and the batting Powerplay far too disastrous, and Pollard, for all his brilliance, still had too much to do to pull off a magical heist.

Earlier, Luke Ronchi‘s brilliant form continued, the New Zealand wicketkeeper, timing the ball brilliantly en route a 36-ball 58. He was well supported by Alex Hales, playing his first PSL game, who scored 46, and Hussain Talat (36 off 21), whose form in the PSL will surely be piquing the national selectors’ interests by now. The Multan bowlers’ lengths were all over the place, with only Umar Gul able to establish any control over the batsmen. The rest of the time, they made hay, revelling in their recent confidence as Multan endured an off-day they could ill-afford.

The horror show continued with the bat, Multan losing Kumar Sangakkara and Saif Badar in the first over to the wily off spin of Samit Patel. Before long, they had been joined in the pavilion by Sohaib Maqsood and Ahmed Shehzad, and Multan were reduced to 20 for 4 chasing 186. The game was essentially over, but Pollard’s reputation meant Islamabad were taking nothing for granted. He showed them why with a phenomenal innings, but it was a sign of how wretched the rest of the day had been for Shoaib Malik’s side that even then, they fell well short.

more to follow…

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