Openers Shane Watson (79) and Sharjeel Khan (79*) smashed 14 sixes between them as Islamabad United beat Lahore Qalandars by eight-wickets.
Islamabad, who started the competition undercooked, have gained momentum and their second win of the competition in Sharjah lifted them off the bottom of the table and right back in contention to win the inaugural PSLT20.
Watson stood up to the responsibility of leading United in the absence of injured Misbah-ul-Haq (calf) to plunder 4 fours and 7 sixes in his 47-ball stay. Sharjeel was not to be outdone as the pair added 153 for the opening wicket.
Watson was dropped on 11 and made Lahore pay. Sharjeel took Ehsan Adil for 20 runs in the fourth over and Islamabad never looked back. Watson’s fifty came in 37 balls and Sharjeel’s in 26, before the former was caught down the leg side with victory in sight and Andre Russell made 2, both victims of Adil, but Sharjeel stroked his sixth and seventh maximum to end his 43 ball knock victory with 25 balls to spare.
Mohammad Rizwan’s unbeaten 50 in Lahore’s 166 for six came in 27 balls and included 5 fours and 3 sixes and rescued his side who were teetering at 89 for four in the 13th over when he entered the scene.
Chris Gayle missed the match with flu. He had missed the previous Lahore game with a problematic back injury. It’s understood that he is consciously limiting his appearances to rest his back problem with the World T20 and Indian Premier League coming soon.
Islamabad United 169 for 2 (Sharjeel 79*, Watson 79) beat Lahore Qalandars 166 for 6 (Rizwan 50*, Sami 2-21) by eight wickets.