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Islamabad posts highest PSL run chase on the back of Usman Khawaja’s ton

Khawaja Cenutry
PSL/ Twitter

Usman Khawaja’s blistering ton gets Islamabad across in the line in the highest run chase ever in the history of PSL against Peshawar in match 26 at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Islamabad consolidated their position on top of the points table after the skipper’s maiden PSL ton took IU to the highest total in the history of PSL, which is 147.

Peshawar fought back well but just fell short of 15 runs after losing their batsmen at crucial times. Zalmi would have considered their decision of bowling first considering how Usman Khawaja tore their bowling apart.

The skipper took some time to settle but it was a matter of time when boundaries started to come at a rapid pace and Khawaja picked up the top gear.

Colin Munro on the other end was also serving the cause as both of them raced to 98 at the end of the 10th over before the New Zealander lost his wicket on 48 off 28 balls.

Next, come, Asif Ali, to join the party and it took him only three balls to hit the first maximum. 

Sameen Gul bowled the expensive 13th over to give 24 runs as Asif Ali fetched him three monstrous sixers. However, he got his revenge in the same over after getting rid of the dangerous Asif Ali on 43 (14) on a short ball.

Meanwhile, Khawaja reached his half-century in 36 balls alongside Brandon King

Waqar Salamkheil bowled the 16th over and got as many as 19 runs including three sixes and the momentum keep going as Wahab Riaz got four boundaries in the next over.

IU reached 200 runs with three overs remaining. Khawaja just needed three balls to move from 84 to 100 and to become the only PSL captain who scored a ton.

Khawaja remained unbeaten on 105 off 56 balls followed by 13 boundaries and 3 sixes while King scored 46 (22) to give IU a strong finish.

Batting second, Zalmi had the worst start as they lost their in-form batsman Hazratullah Zazai on the very first ball. 

However, Zalmi managed to get close to the massive total on the back of later striking Shoaib Malik, Sherfane Rutherford, Wahab Riaz, and Umaid Asif.

Kamran Akmal 53 (32) set the stage for PZ with a calculated half-century before falling in the 9th over. Malik took the responsibility from there to hit 60 (38) as wickets kept falling on the other side.

The 14th over of the second innings raised hopes for Zalmi after Rutherford and Malik hit 30 runs in an over off Zafar Gohar, followed by four maximums and a boundary.

The equation was summed up to 57 off 18 balls when the victory looked impossible.

Wahab and Umaid never gave up and it was finally brought up to the last over when 23 needed from the final over. But Akif Javed winded up brilliantly after conceding only 7 runs in the over on a day when the bowlers get 450 runs.

“I’m just speechless. I think we were very pathetic in the field when we won the toss and bowled first knowing they were a bowler short. We should have restricted them to 160-170. The attitude wasn’t there. We rested Irfan and knew there was something there for the spinners. The guys who have been playing continuously should know what the plans are and they didn’t stick to the plan, not according to the fields. The ball was always in the slot,”

said the losing captain, Wahab Riaz.

“It was enjoyable to bat 20 overs. It was a great team effort because we had a lot of players not playing so it’s very satisfying. I’m not trying to take anything away from our bowlers because they put in a great effort, but Shadab was resting. We knew we were probably going one short on pace. The wicket was really good,”

said the winning captain and player of the match, Usman Khawaja.

Brief scores: Islamabad United 247/2 in 20 overs (Usman Khawaja 105*, Colin Munro 48, Asif Ali 43, Brandon King 46*) beat Peshawar Zalmi 232/6 in 20 overs (Kamran Akmal 53, Shoaib Malik 68, Sherfane Rutherford 29, Wahab Riaz 28; Akif Javed 3-43, Hussain Talat 2-37) by 17 runs.