Usman Khawaja’s maiden PSL century script United’s 15-run win over Zalmi
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Usman Khawaja’s first century in the HBL PSL and three wickets from Akif Javed guided Islamabad United to a thrilling 15-run win over Peshawar Zalmi at Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Thursday.
After being asked to bat first, United posted 247 for two – the highest T20 score at the venue and in the HBL PSL history. It is also the highest score in any domestic Pakistan T20 tournament beating 243 set by Karachi Dolphins against Lahore Eagles in 2010.
Usman, who was leading the team in the absence of Shadab Khan, opened the batting with Colin Munro, and the two left-handers provided a solid 98-run partnership for the first wicket off just 59 balls.
Munro (48 off 28) struck five fours and two sixes before getting out to Shoaib Malik’s off spin on the penultimate ball of the tenth over.
Asif Ali contributed a quick-fire 43 off 14, which included five towering sixes and two fours. He knitted a 47-run partnership for the second-wicket with Usman.
Brandon King joined Usman at 145 for two in the 13th over. The pair played shots all around the ground, and contributed an unbeaten 102 runs off just 43 balls for the third-wicket partnership.
Australian international Usman playing his first season of HBL PSL, brought up his hundred off just 53 balls and became the first captain to post a hundred in the tournament. He smashed 13 fours and three sixes and remained unbeaten on 105 off 56. His partner, the right-handed West Indies international King scored 22-ball 46, smashing five fours and three sixes.
In reply, half centuries from Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik went in vain as Zalmi remained 15 runs short of the mammoth target.
Shoaib top-scored with a 36-ball 68, hitting six fours and three sixes. Kamran (53 off 32, seven fours, two sixes) put up a 53-run stand for the third-wicket with Shoaib.
Sherfane Rutherford (29 off eight) played a cameo, as he struck four sixes off Zafar Gohar’s over – 14th of the innings – the second most expensive over in the history of HBL PSL.
That Zalmi were able to cross 200 was due to late onslaught from Wahab Riaz (28 not out off 15, one four, two sixes) and Umaid Asif (20 not out off nine, two fours, one six). The pair contributed 47 runs for the seventh-wicket partnership.
Left-arm pacer Akif took three for 43 for United, while Hussain Talat picked two wickets. This match produced the highest aggregate score in HBL PSL history.
Scores in brief:
Islamabad United 247-2, 20 overs (Usman Khawaja 105 not out, Colin Munro 48, Brandon King 46 not out, Asif Ali 43)
Peshawar Zalmi 232-6, 20 overs (Shoaib Malik 68, Kamran Akmal 53, Sherfane Rutherford 29; Akif Javed 3-43, Hussain Talat 2-37)
Player of the match – Usman Khawaja (Islamabad United).