Watson, Sharjeel fifties powers Islamabad United to victory

Watson, Sharjeel fifties powers Islamabad United to victory
Sharjeel Khan scored an unbeaten 79 for the Islamabad United during the chase.
©REUTERS / Action Images
 

Islamabad United 169-2 (Sharjeel 79no) beat
Lahore Qalandars 166-6 (Rizwan 50no) by eight wickets
Ninth game, Pakistan Super League, Sharjah
Scorecard 

Sharjeel Khan and Shane Watson scored 79 runs each as Islamabad United chased down 167 against the Lahore Qalandars in just 15.5 overs with eight wickets in hand in the ninth game of the Pakistan Super League in Sharjah. 

Watson was leading the Islamabad United after Misbah-ul-Haq was injured while Lahore missed the services of Chris Gayle again as he was down with flu.

Islamabad United won the toss and elected to field first. Azhar Ali (27) scored three boundaries in the first two overs to take Lahore Qalandars to 20 for naught in the first two overs. 

Mohammad Sami (2-21) dismissed Cameron Delport (3) off his first delivery and later trapped Ali lbw in the sixth over to restrict Lahore Qalandars to 46 for two in the powerplay.

Naved Yasin (25) and Umar Akmal (23) steadied the innings with a 41-run stand for the third wicket but both fell in successive overs as Lahore Qalandars reached 94 for four after 13 overs. 

Mohammad Rizwan (50 not out) was the saviour for the Qalandars as he reached his fifty off just 27 deliveries to push the total to 166 for six in the 20 overs.

Watson (79) received an early reprieve after Delport misjudged a catch at square leg off Kevon Cooper (0-29) but Sharjeel (79 not out) at the other end smashed 20 runs in the fourth over from Ehsan Adil (2-41). 

The duo brought the 50-run stand in the fifth over and soon brought their respective fifties in a 25-run 11th over bowled by Zohaib Khan (0-30).

The mammoth 153-run opening stand finally ended with Adil having Watson caught behind but by then the damage was already done with Islamabad United needing 14 runs from the final six overs.

Sharjeel signed off the innings with back-to-back sixes in the 16th over to secure a comfortable eight-wicket win for the Islamabad United. The knock also fetched him the man of the match award.

The win has taken Islamabad United to the third position in the points table while Lahore Qalandars are languishing at the bottom with a solitary win in the four games. 

© Cricket World 2016