Australia’s veteran Brad Haddin and Dwayne Smith delivered the goods with the bat to steer Islamabad United home in the opening match of the PSL 2017 against Peshawar Zalmi at the Dubai International Stadium.
Chasing 191 to win, Islamabad United started off disastrously as they lost the key wicket of Sharjeel Khan, who was trapped in front by Hasan Ali in just the second of play. But the experienced duo – Haddin and Smith – did not panic as they added 104 runs in 70 balls to keep Islamabad in the game. Later, Haddin’s fellow Aussie, Shane Watson, then hit the final blows to Junaid Khan to seal the game with two balls to spare.
Haddin struck 39-ball 73 while Dwayne Smith managed 55 off 49 balls to consolidate from the other end.
The result seemed unlikely for the most part of the game – especially after the 122 run stand between Kamran Akmal, who scored a fabulous 88, and David Malan, which came in just 68 balls. At one point, Zalmi set their sights to a total in the excess of 200, but some restrictive bowling by United late in the innings couldn’t get Zalmi past 190, even after some late fireworks from Chris Jordan.
Islamabad United have managed to carry on their winning streak from the last season, and have registered the first points available in this year’s season.
“Smith played a good knock. Haddin kept the tempo. Watto finished well. It looked easy but was not easy to chase down. It was wet due to dew even in the first innings. You need to keep wickets in the middle overs to stop the batsmen with these short boundaries and on a wicket like this.” Misbah-ul-Haq said at the presentation ceremony.
“It was all in all a brilliant game of cricket. Credit to the groundsman. Again the bowlers were under pressure, that is what the crowd wants though. Unfortunately, we were on the losing side.” Darren Sammy said.
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