Colin Munro’s unbeaten 87 helped Islamabad United beat Lahore Qalandars by 71 runs on Wednesday, which is the biggest victory margin, in terms of runs, in the history of HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL). The previous biggest winning margin was 67 runs achieved by Quetta Gladiators against Karachi Kings in 2018.
Islamabad United, after being asked to bat, put a daunting 198 for three after the opening pair of Luke Ronchi and Munro provided a profound 103-run opening stand.
Their partnership, which stretched 11.1 overs, came to an end on Mohammad Hafeez’s first ball of the match as Ronchi, who made 48 off 31 balls and hit six fours and a six, was caught at deep backward square leg.
Munro ensured that runs continued to flow. The left-handed batsman was at the batting end for almost half of the United’s innings, facing 59 balls, and smashed eight fours and three sixes. He was later named man of the match.
Colin Ingram made a useful 19-ball 29, which included six fours, in the middle-0rder, but it was Asif Ali’s blistering 20 not out off just six balls, out of which three went for fours and one for a six, which ensured Qalandars’ required run-rate touched almost 10 an over.
United’s three wickets were shared equally amongst Salman Irshad (one for 43), Mohammad Faizan (one for 41) and Hafeez (one for 11).
Lahore Qalandars, in their reply, perished for 127 in 18.5 overs.
Problems compounded for Lahore Qalandars from the very first over as Dale Steyn struck on the second ball, accounting for the wicket of Chris Lynn (0).
Hafeez, who had scored 98 not out against the same opposition at the same venue earlier in the tournament, was the next batsman to fall as Akif Javed dismissed him in the fourth over as the all-rounder scored 10 off 13 balls.
A 41-run partnership between Salman Butt (21 off 24) and Ben Dunk (25 off 15) instilled some hope amongst the Lahore Qalandars’ fans but Zafar Gohar and Shadab Khan struck at regular intervals throughout the middle-phase of the innings and shared five wickets between them.
Zafar returned three for 31, while Shadab took two wickets for 21 runs.
Rumman Raees cleaned up the tail, taking three wickets for 29 runs.
With an unbeaten 30 off 13 balls, Usman Shinwari was the top-scorer in Qalandars’ innings.
Islamabad United are now placed second on the points table with seven points – coming from three wins and a washed-out match – while Lahore Qalandars, with four defeats from five matches, are at the bottom of the table.
On Thursday, Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators will face off at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi, in the 18th match of the ongoing HBL PSL 2020.
Scores in brief
Islamabad United 198-3, 20 overs (Colin Munro 87 not out, Luke Ronchi 48, Colin Ingram 29, Asif Ali 20 not out)
Lahore Qalandars (Usman Shinwari 30 not out, Ben Dunk 25, Salman Butt 21; Rumman Raees 3-29, Zafar Gohar 3-31, Shadab Khan 2-21)