HBL PSL: Fakhar, Rashid Flay United As Qalandars Confirm Qualifier Berth

Islamabad United struggled in an HBL Pakistan Super League matchup against the elite.

Islamabad United fell far short of their usual excellent standards in a match amongst the greatest players in the HBL Pakistan Super League. Lahore Qalandars demonstrated total ruthlessness to win the match by 119 runs on Thursday at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, as a terrible performance on the pitch and bad luck plagued the two-time champions.

Fakhar Zaman and Rashid Khan, two of the Qalandars’ seasoned campaigners, served as the group’s leaders. Azam Khan, the dangerman who was taken for X-Rays after hurting his left hand while taking wickets, was sorely missed when the hosts were bowled out for 107 after Fakhar had ridden fate for a scorching century to push the Qalandars to 226-5.

The outcome guaranteed the Qalandars’ position in the Qualifier, giving them two chances to secure a spot in the March 19 final. To maintain the same safety, United will need to defeat Peshawar Zalmi in their final game.

Following the Qalandars’ decision to bat first, Fakhar took advantage of United’s errors on the pitch to pound out 115 off 57 balls, an innings that featured eight fours and as many sixes.

Asif Ali missed a clear opportunity at first slip after Fakhar found a genuine edge off Hasan Ali’s pace in the second over on a surface that initially gave bounce and movement to the fast bowlers.

Hasan turned into the culprit as he missed a clear opportunity to pull Fakhar out of Shadab Khan’s leg-spin in the 10th over after the swashbuckling southpaw sped to 71 off 29 balls.

Between the two events—and subsequently, too—Fakhar committed complete carnage. Before hitting Faheem Ashraf for two fours and a six to push the Qalandars to 65-1 by the end of the powerplay, he celebrated his first reprieve by smashing three boundaries against bowler Fazal Haq Farooqi.

After hitting Shadab Khan over the head for a six, Fakhar reached his fifty in just 24 balls. He then added another six as he crossed the midwicket boundary.

In the ninth over, Kamran Ghulam, who had been watching Fakhar’s performance from the other end up until that point, found his rhythm by hitting a four and two sixes over the leg-side boundary off Mubasir Khan’s off-spin. Fakhar once more dismissed Shadab for two sixes before getting his second life.

After adding 41 off 30 to the score, Kamran was defeated by Wasim in the eleventh over. Fakhar reached his century in just 50 balls after surviving a review for lbw against Faheem in the 14th over. Later, he flicked Mohammad Wasim for a massive six.

Sam Billings, who had taken Kamran’s position at the crease, contributed with a four and a six off Wasim, and Fakhar added another maximum off Faheem in the 17th over before losing his wicket when he holed Hasan out to Wasim at deep square-leg to leave in the following over.

Billings (32 off 22) and David Wiese lost their wickets in the penultimate over (bowled by Farooqi) after each hitting a six before the arriving Rashid Khan got off to a strong start against his fellow Afghan with a boundary.

In the last over, Rashid skillfully flipped Wasim through short fine-leg for four and then lifted the pacer over midwicket for a six to give the Qalandars a commanding lead that United never really appeared to be chasing.

By the end of the powerplay, after Zaman Khan had handed the Qalan­dars breakthroughs in the form of Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Colin Munro’s wickets, they were already well behind with only 50-2 on the board.

The United captain skied a half-tracker for wicket-keeper Billings to take an easy catch after slugging the ball for a six, giving Rashid’s cunning spinner the perfect opportunity to prey on Shadab.

After Wiese was edged behind by opener Alex Hales, United was reeling at 63-4 at the end of the eighth over. Rashid then came back to clean off Mubasir Khan with a wrong’un.

United had no one to turn to in order to get them out of the muck they were in because Azam Khan was missing from their ranks. It was essentially over for United when Faheem was stranded lbw to become Rashid’s (4-21) third victim before the spinner went back to castle Asif.

To end the match and all but guarantee the Qalandars’ place atop the PSL standings, Haris took two lower-order wickets, Hasan and Wasim.

Current Standings (Tabulated under: teams, matches, wins, lost, points, net run-rate)

Lahore 9 7 2 14 +1.494

Islamabad 9 6 3 12 -0.713

Multan 8 4 4 8 +0.473

Peshawar 8 4 4 8 -0.580

Quetta 9 3 6 6 -1.120

Karachi 9 2 7 4 +0.358



Batters & modes of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR

Abdullah Shafique c Hales b Fazalhaq 1 2 0 0 50.00

Fakhar Zaman c Wasim b Hasan 115 57 8 8 201.75

Kamran Ghulam c Faheem b Wasim 41 30 4 2 136.66

Sam Billings c Hasan b Fazalhaq 32 22 2 2 145.45

Sikandar Raza not out 1 4 0 0 25.00

David Wiese b Fazalhaq 6 2 0 1 300.00

Rashid Khan not out 15 5 2 1 300.00

EXTRAS (B-1, LB-4, NB-2, W-8) 15

TOTAL (for five wickets, 20 overs) 226

DID NOT BAT: Hussain Talat, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Zaman Khan

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-3 (Abdullah), 2-125 (Kamran), 3-195 (Fakhar), 4-203 (Billings), 5-209 (Wiese)

BOWLING: Fazalhaq 4-0-40-3 (2w), Hasan 4-0-33-1 (4w, 1nb), Faheem 4-0-43-0 (1w, 1nb), Wasim 4-0-48-1 (1w),

Mubasir 2-0-25-0, Shadab 2-0-32-0


Batters & modes of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR

Rahmanullah Gurbaz c Haris b Zaman 15 15 1 1 100.00

Alex Hales c Billings b Wiese 18 16 0 1 112.50

Colin Munro c Billings b Zaman 11 6 2 0 183.33

Shadab Khan c Billings b Rashid 12 7 1 1 171.42

Mubasir Khan b Rashid 3 6 0 0 50.00

Asif Ali b Rashid 7 8 0 0 87.50

Faheem Ashraf lbw b Rashid 4 8 0 0 50.00

Hasan Ali c Abdullah b Haris 18 13 1 2 138.46

Mohammad Wasim c Billings b Haris 8 11 1 0 72.72

Fazalhaq Farooqi not out 0 1 0 0 0.00

EXTRAS (B-4, W-7) 11

TOTAL (for nine wickets, 15.1 overs) 107

DID NOT BAT: Azam Khan

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-32 (Gurbaz), 2-44 (Munro), 3-59 (Shadab), 4-63 (Hales), 5-68 (Mubasir), 6-77 (Faheem), 7-93 (Asif), 8-101 (Hasan), 9-107 (Wasim)

BOWLING: Shaheen 2-0-18-0, Zaman 3-0-17-2 (1w), Haris 2.1-0-16-2, Rashid 4-0-21-4 (1w), Wiese 3-0-17-1 (2w), Raza 1-0-14-0 (1w)

RESULTS: Lahore Qalandars won by 119 runs.

Written by Muhammad Qasim