In-form Luke Ronchi’s third half-century of the last four matches helped Islamabad United defeat Multan Sultans by 33 runs in the 25th fixture of the Pakistan Super League 2018 in Sharjah.
With that victory, United secured their qualification for the play-offs, whereas the Sultans’ hopes for reaching the next round now depend on how Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi fare in their remaining league fixtures.
After Multan Sultans won the toss and elected to field first, Islamabad’s pairing of JP Duminy and Ronchi took the crease, with the latter once again in the mood, cracking six boundaries in the opening four overs.
Talat’s 36-run cameo came to an end in the 19th when Gul had him caught at long on.
Fahim Ashraf and Asif Ali contributed 13 and 17 runs respectively as United finished with 185-4, setting a target of 186 for the Sultans to chase,
When facing hat-trick balls, most batsmen tend to opt for defensive shots but then Sohaib Maqsood is not most batsmen. A boundary through the covers ensued.
Sultans batters soon found out that Patel just one of a two-pronged problem. His bowling partner Mohammad Sami was also excellent from the other end, conceding just seven runs in his first two overs.
The third wicket fell in the 5th over and the fourth in 6th as United planted one foot into the play-offs. The first of the twin dismissals was Ahmed Shehzad, who took 10 balls to get set before planting an easy catch into the hands of the third-man fielder. The shot was meant to go one way, it went the other as the batman went straight to the dugout.
His contribution: a paltry three runs.
Pollard’s magnificent six-laden 73-run knock came to an end in the 18th when Sami had him caught at deep square leg.
In the end, the Sultans folded for 152 runs with 5 balls still remaining in their allotted 20 overs.
Ronchi was deservedly named the man of the match.
Multan XI: KC Sangakkara, Ahmed Shehzad, Sohaib Maqsood, Shoaib Malik, KA Pollard, Saif Badar, RA Whiteley, Sohail Tanvir, Imran Tahir, Mohammad Irfan, Umar Gul.
Islamabad XI: AD Hales, L Ronchi, JP Duminy, Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Misbah-ul-Haq, SR Patel, Shadab Khan, Amad Butt, Mohammad Sami.
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