LAHORE: Ability trumped data at the Gaddafi Stadium as Lahore Qalandars crushed Islamabad United by 110 runs in their HBL Pakistan Super League match on Monday. For all talk of United’s data-driven approach, they had no answer to the rampant defending champions, who won their second straight game at home.
Qalandars put on a team effort, first with the bat to post 200-7, then with the ball to bundle United out for just 90 runs with 37 balls to spare. The hosts showed they weren’t totally reliable on their star players and were helped by crucial contributions from top-order batter Abdullah Shafique (45 off 24) and medium-pacer David Wiese (3-17).
United, on the other hand, were left to revisit their planning based on numbers and match-ups.
Qalandars captain Shaheen Shah Afridi, who had the stumps flying against Peshawar Zalmi in his first over a day earlier, did not bowl another classic against United.
He conceded two five wides before Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Colin Munro gave United a good start as they posted 56-2 in the powerplay.
Both, however, couldn’t extend their stay past the sixth over. Gurbaz fell prey to an excellent catch by Fakhar Zaman off Zaman Khan’s slower one and Munro — who had cut loose after his partner’s departure to smack Haris Rauf for a four and six in the fifth over — departed as he found Shaheen at mid on off Wiese in the next.
United were hurt further when Haris returned to dismiss Rassie van der Dussen and their captain Shadab Khan edged a rising ball to wicket-keeper Sam Billings off Wiese.
Not long after, Asif Ali skied one to get caught in the deep to become leg-spinner Rashid Khan’s first victim and Azam Khan – who had absolutely battered Quetta Gladiators in his previous outing -- was trapped lbw by Wiese, leaving United reeling at 68-6 before the halfway stage.
Rashid returned to clean up Tom Curran in the 11th over as United looked into the eyes of defeat and it all ended for them after Hasan Ali was run out and Sikandar Raza dismissed two tailenders – the three wickets falling on consecutive deliveries.
Earlier, after Qalandars won the toss, openers Fakhar and Tahir Baig boosted the Qalandars to 57-0 by the end of the powerplay as the duo defied United’s attempt to test them with a combination of young pacer Zeeshan Zameer and mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed with the new ball.
While Zeeshan was punished for some wayward bowling, Abrar hardly asked the batters any questions. The bespectacled bowler was lifted for a magnificent six over his head by Tahir after Fakhar had cut him for a boundary.
United were forced to shuffle their bowlers early into the innings, with Faheem Ashraf introduced the third over and Hasan called to bowl in the sixth, which saw Fakhar smash the pacer for a four and a six in the fine leg region.
But Tahir’s innings came to an end when Shadab’s second delivery stayed low to shatter his stumps. An over later, Fakhar was also cleaned up as he played pacer Curran onto his stumps.
The incoming Billings and Abdullah had no fear after seeing their openers fall in quick successions. After Billings had hit two boundaries, the English wicket-keeper/batter hit two more before Abdullah added a couple in Shadab’s 11th over.
Abdullah, who was coming at a back of 75-run knock against Peshawar Zalmi a day earlier, belted Hasan over midwicket for his first six and got two boundaries of Zeeshan before audaciously slashing him over point for another maximum.
The strategic timeout seemed to have blurred Abdullah’s focus a bit as the stylish right-hander pulled Curran right into the hands of Gurbaz at midwicket in the 14th over.
United made further inroads when Shadab trapped Hussain Talat lbw and Zeeshan took an acrobatic catch off Curran’s bowling to end Billings’ (33 off 23) time at the crease.
Wiese heaved Abrar towards the leg-side for a four and a six before getting caught in the deep but Sikandar Raza arrived to hurt the leg-spinner equally.
After Hasan conceded only nine runs in the next over Raza went on drive Curran for another boundary in the 19th, which also saw Rashid play a helicopter shot for a six.
Hasan leaked only seven runs in the final over and also got Rashid as the Qalandars posted 200-7.
Batters & modes of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR
Mirza Tahir Baig b Shadab 20 17 2 1 117.64
Fakhar Zaman b Curran 36 23 5 1 156.52
Abdullah Shafique c Gurbaz b Curran 45 24 4 2 187.50
Sam Billings c Zeeshan b Curran 33 23 5 0 143.47
Hussain Talat lbw b Shadab 6 5 1 0 120.00
Sikandar Raza not out 23 10 2 1 230.00
David Wiese c Hasan b Abrar 12 6 1 1 200.00
Rashid Khan c (sub) b Hasan 18 12 2 1 150.00
Shaheen Shah Afridi not out 0 1 0 0 0.00
EXTRAS (B-1, NB-1, W-5) 7
TOTAL (for seven wickets, 20 overs) 200
DID NOT BAT: Haris Rauf, Zaman Khan
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-58 (Tahir), 2-62 (Fakhar), 3-133 (Abdullah), 4-140 (Hussain), 5-146 (Billings), 6-159 (Wiese), 7-199 (Rashid)
BOWLING: Zeeshan 2-0-30-0 (3w), Abrar 4-0-50-1, Faheem 2-0-13-0, Hasan 4-0-38-1 (1w), Shadab 4-0-34-2, Curran 4-0-34-3 (1nb)
Batters & modes of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR
Colin Munro c Shaheen b Wiese 18 14 1 1 128.57
Rahmanullah Gurbaz c Fakhar b Zaman 23 17 2 1 135.29
Rassie van der Dussen c (sub) b Haris 3 6 0 0 50.00
Shadab Khan c Billings b Wiese 4 6 0 0 66.66
Azam Khan lbw b Wiese 4 7 0 0 57.14
Asif Ali c Haris b Rashid 3 4 0 0 75.00
Faheem Ashraf not out 4 13 0 0 30.76
Tom Curran b Rashid 10 6 0 1 166.66
Hasan Ali run out 4 8 0 0 50.00
Zeeshan Zameer b Raza 0 1 0 0 0.00
Abrar Ahmed lbw b Raza 0 1 0 0 0.00
EXTRAS (LB-4, W-13) 17
TOTAL (all out, 20 overs) 90
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-41 (Gurbaz), 2-54 (Munro), 3-59 (van der Dussen), 4-63 (Shadab), 5-68 (Asif), 6-68 (Azam), 7-81 (Curran), 8-90 (Hasan), 9-90 (Zeeshan)
BOWLING: Shaheen 2-0-22-0 (2w), Zaman 2-0-18-1 (1w), Haris 2-0-15-1 (1w), Wiese 3-0-17-3, Rashid 3-0-8-2, Raza 1.5-0-6-2 (1w)
RESULT: Lahore Qalandars won by 110 runs.
Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2023
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