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Azam Khan’s awe-inspiring 97 sets comprehensive victory for Islamabad United

Azam Khan’s thunderous 97 helped Islamabad United thump Quetta Gladiators by 63 runs in match 13 of the HBL Pakistan Super League 8 at the National Bank Cricket Area, Karachi, on Friday night.

Match Summary

Quetta Gladiators 157/10 (19.1 ov)

Islamabad United 220/6 (20 ov)

Islamabad United won by 63 runs.



Twenty-four-year-old Azam played a sensational innings in which he spanked eight sixes and nine fours in 42 balls that set an insurmountable 220 for six – the highest total of this edition – against his former franchise, who were bowled out for 157 with five balls spare.

Shadab Khan became the first captain this season to opt to bat after winning the toss and his side had an untypical start as they were 39 for two at the conclusion of the Powerplay. Mohammad Hasnain’s brilliant form with the ball continued as he sent back last night’s hero Rahmanullah Gurbaz in the second over, thanks to Iftikhar Ahmed’s outstanding catch, and Rassie van der Dussen in the fourth.

Azam arrived in the middle at the 6.2 overs mark with 43 on board and soon Islamabad United lost the wicket of Munro as they slipped to 71 for four.

If Islamabad United were to post a strong total, they required a herculean effort and Azam raised his hand. He coupled with Asif Ali, who smashed 42 off 24, hitting four sixes and a four, to stage an incredible recovery through a belligerent 98-run partnership that ended in the 18th over.

Azam smoked maximums all around the dial, and showcased his best hitting in the last over when he struck Hasnain for three consecutive sixes – the last of them taking the social media by storm, the sweep that went on the roof at deep midwicket. Because of his fireworks, Islamabad United gathered 92 runs in the last five overs.

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Quetta Gladiators put up a lacklustre show and never really challenged Islamabad United. They had both openers back in the pavilion in the first two overs. Martin Guptill was bowled on the first ball he faced by Fazlhaq Farooqi and Abrar Ahmed trapped Jason Roy in front. Abrar’s mystery spin undid Will Smeed in the fourth to leave Quetta Gladiators struggling at 26 for three.

With a 69-run partnership, Mohammad Hafeez (48 off 26) and Sarfaraz Ahmed (41 off 36) provided some stability, but when Hafeez got out in the 11th over that pretty much guaranteed Islamabad United’s win.

Sarfaraz was trapped LBW by Shadab Khan right after the strategic timeout and Mohammad Nawaz followed his captain four balls later off the same bowler. Iftikhar Ahmed hit out towards the end, making 39 off 27 (three fours and two sixes), but those were mere consolation runs.

The defeat has amplified Quetta Gladiators woes as they remain at the bottom of the points table with only one win in five matches. Islamabad United stay at the second spot with three wins from four.


 Match Stats

Islamabad United: Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Rahmanullah Gurbaz - 1.5 ov), 2-28 (Rassie van der Dussen - 3.1 ov), 3-43 (Shadab Khan - 6.2 ov), 4-71 (Colin Munro - 9.5 ov), 5-169 (Asif Ali - 17.2 ov), 6-220 (Azam Khan - 19.6 ov)

Quetta Gladiators Fall of wickets1-5 (Martin Guptill - 0.5 ov), 2-7 (Jason Roy - 1.5 ov), 3-26 (Will Smeed - 3.1 ov), 4-95 (Mohammad Hafeez - 10.4 ov), 5-127 (Sarfaraz Ahmed - 15.1 ov), 6-131 (Mohammad Nawaz - 15.5 ov), 7-145 (Odean Smith - 16.6 ov), 8-157 (Iftikhar Ahmed - 18.3 ov), 9-157 (Naseem Shah - 18.4 ov), 10-157 (Mohammad Hasnain - 19.1 ov)

Playing XI

Quetta Gladiators: Sarfaraz Ahmed(WK/C), Iftikhar Ahmed, Jason Roy, Martin Guptill, Will Smeed, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Hafeez, Odean Smith, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Aimal Khan

Islamabad United: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Azam Khan(WK), Colin Munro, Rassie van der Dussen, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan(C), Faheem Ashraf, Mubasir Khan, Hasan Ali, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abrar Ahmed


Match Details:

Date2023-02-24 14:00:00

Venue: National Stadium, Karachi

Toss: Islamabad United won the toss & elected to bat

Officials: Umpires: Michael Gough (England), Rashid Riaz (Pakistan), Richard Illingworth (England TV)

Match Referee: Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka)

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