RAWALPINDI: Faheem Ashraf was once again the finisher for Islamabad United as his quick-fire half-century helped the home side to a nail-biting two-wicket win over Multan Sultans. Faheem struck three boundaries and a maximum in the final over of the match as Islamabad United became the first team in HBL Pakistan Super League to score 18 off the last over to win a match.
Islamabad United’s chase of the 206-run target was beset by early blows as Alex Hales and Rahmanullah Gurbaz were both undone by Anwar Ali’s slower deliveries. Colin Munro then rebuilt the innings with skipper Shadab Khan as the two hammered 59 runs in 30 balls. Munro was dismissed for his 21-ball 40 studded with four fours and three sixes when he misread a quicker one from Usama Mir that hit the top of middle and off stump.
Azam Khan’s dismissal for just three runs did not deter Shadab, who continued to attack from the other end as he accumulated 44 off 25 with the help of three fours and as many sixes. Shadab’s wicket triggered a mini-collapse for Islamabad United as Asif Ali and Mubasir Khan soon followed him back to the pavilion.
With the hosts requiring 46 off the final three overs, Faheem and Mohammad Wasim Jnr stitched an explosive partnership of 28 runs in 12 deliveries. A lucky bottom edge earned Faheem a boundary on the first legal ball of the 20th over bowled by Mohammad Ilyas before he played a remarkable reverse-scoop over third man for six. A double on the third ball was followed by two successive boundaries by Faheem to pull off the highest successful chase for Islamabad United.
Earlier, Multan Sultans rode on Tim David’s fireworks to post 205 for the loss of five wickets. David, playing his first match of the season, smoked four consecutive sixes off Rumman Raees in the 16th over and made 60 off 27 balls.
Looking set to perhaps cross the 220-mark at one stage, Multan Sultans could eek out only 32 runs in their last four overs as Wasim (2-48) pulled things back with tight bowling in the final phase.
Shan Masood headlined Multan Sultans’ batting exploits with his 50-ball 75 featuring 12 fours while Mohammad Rizwan slammed three sixes and a solitary boundary in his 18-ball 33 to get his team off to a flier. Shadab applied the brakes in the middle overs of the innings, as he registered the scalps of Rizwan and Rilee Rossouw and gave away 26 runs in his four overs, including a maiden