Munro, Ronchi take United to 198-3 against Qalandars
A 103-run opening wicket partnership between tournament’s highest run scorer this season Luke Ronchi and Collin Munro helped Islamabad United to post an intimidating total of 198-3 against Lahore Qalandars at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore.
After inviting United to bat, Qalandars bowlers looked totally hapless in front of an inform pair of Ronchi and Munro who played their shots at will. It was veteran Muhammad Hafeez who gave breakthrough to Qalandars in the very first over he bowled when Ronchi tossed swung the ball high in the air to the deep backward square leg, where Samit Patel settled under it and took the catch. United were 103-1 in 12th over as Ronchi remained two runs short of another half century in the event. He made 48 runs off 31 balls hitting one six and six boundaries.
United captain Shadab Khan, who had a very good tournament so far with both bat and ball, failed to continue his god form as he sliced a slow delivery of M Faizan in the air to point and Patel comfortably took his second catch of the match. Shadab scored seven runs off five balls and hit one boundary.
However, Munro continued to strike with same pace and kept the scoreboard moving briskly. He was well aided by Collin Ingram who scored rapid 29 off 19 balls, hitting four boundaries. He was given out caught behind on Salman Irshad’s delivery after Qalandars reviewed a decision that came in their favour.
The next batsman in was Asif Ali who struck three consecutive fours on as many deliveries he faced of Irshad’s over, the 18th of the innings. In very next over, Irshad was again the culprit as he dropped the catch of Asif at third point after Asif edged a Faizan’s delivery while going for a big shot.
Munro remained unbeaten on 87 off 59 balls as he hit eight boundaries and three sixes in his powerful innings. Asif hit Irshad for a six in last over as he also remained not out on 20 off just six balls hiting three boundaries and a six.
Qalandars bowling struggled in absence of Shaheen Shah Afridi who was rested after sustaining an injury to his shoulder. Sohail Akhtar used seven bowlers but remained failed to stop the run riot of Islamabad United players. Hafeez with one wicket for 11 runs in his two overs was the stand out bowler for the Qalandars. Dilbar Hussain also bowled with venom but has to go out of action after bowling just 2.1 overs after sustaining injury. He gave 14 runs in his 2.1 overs. Faizan took one wicket for 41 runs and Irshad captured one wicket conceding 43 runs.
Usman Shinwari, who replaced Afridi in the match was economica as compared to other bowlers as he conceded 31 runs in his four overs while Patel went for 26 runs in his two overs and Sri Lankan Seekkuge Prasanna conceded 28 runs in two overs.