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Finally PSL moves to Sharjah and it welcomes it folks with a traditional flat, hard and shinny surface a pure delight for the batsman and nightmare for the bowlers. Today we witnessed 20 monsters sixes,  6 of those came in Lahore innings while 14 of them came in Islamabad innings. Today was the very important encounter for both teams, Lahore and Islamabad. Both were looking to improve their position in the tournament. Eventually Islamabad eased passed through the mighty Lahore with ease.

When you are in Sharjah you expect high scoring matches and lots of sixes and today we just got that and PSL hit the 5th gear. Islamabad, captained by Watson in place of injured Misbah, won the toss and elected to field first. Islamabad bowlers bowled really well and restricted the Lahore Qalandars at mere 167 in their 20 overs. Lahore Qalandars starts was not steady as they lost Cameron Delport in the 3rd over with score of just 20. Azhar Ali played some good shots but was eventually got out to Muhammad Sami after scoring 27 runs. In came the man in form Umar Akmal who again survived a very close LBW call in the first over he faced.

 

Naveed Yasin and Umar Akmal steadied the ship but the old Magician, Saeed Ajmal, got rid of Naveed Yasin. Few overs later Imran Khaled trapped Umar Akaml Leg before to give Islamabad the edge over Lahore. But then came the brilliant half century stand between Dwanye Bravo and Muhammad Rizwan. Rizwan being dropped for World T20 squad answered his critics by scoring a quick half century. He hit 3 monstrous sixes and 5 hours during his innings. He along with Dwanye Bravo gave Lahore a fighting total of 167.

 

Islamabad United today fielded Brad Haddin as their Keeper so Sam Billings was assigned in out field today and he didn’t live up to the mark. He misjudged few fields in the ground and gave easy runs to the opposition. I hope Pakistan Cricket didn’t affect him as Pakistan Cricket and Poor Fielding is still a better love story then Twilight ;).

 

In reply Islamabad United started with quick runs. Sharjeel Khan, the eventual man of match, started his innings with boundries. Shane Watson was slow to start as he was struggling to get bat on bowl. As said earlier Pakistan Cricket is associated with poor fielding but it was surprise to see a South African dropped a simple catch of Shane Watson early in his innings. Yes folks you guessed in right, Cameron Delport dropped Watson early in his innings.

 

After the dropped chance Sharjeel Khan and Watson didn’t give opposition any chance to come back in the game. All their bowlers received a thrashing from both openers. They scored in quick succession, hitting boundaries at their will. Sharjeel Khan was very cruel on the bowlers, any thing near middle and off went out of the park, He hit the monstrous sixes in his innings with one six over 100 meters. Shane Watson was equal to task depositing bowlers all over the park.

 

Seems like there was longest six hit competition in this match. First Umar Akmal hit longest six of 100 meters then Sharjeel hit 102 meters hit and eventually Shane Watson hit 104 meters hit. All going out of the ground. Be ready to have more sixes in next 4 days.

 

Watson and Sharjeel brought up the 150 runs partnership which was assisted by some really really poor fielding by the Lahore Qalandars. Shane Watson first dropped by Delport, then in later innings on the bowling of Copper was dropped by Zohaib Khan. It was another sitter but seems like Zohaib was plucking some fruits from the tree rather then catching a ball. Even I could have caught that. At this level that drop had no excuse. Ok we can forget that catch but we can’t forget he catch with Azhar Ali dropped. Andre Russell miscued the hit of the bowling of Dwanye Bravo and lobbed straight to Azhar Ali at short cover. But he dropped a sitter of sitter. As Pakistan team captain it is unforgivable.

 

On the other hand there was an excellent catch by Muhammad Rizwan to dismiss Watson and by Umar Akmal to dismiss Andre Russell. But in the end it was an easy win for Islamabad.

 

So far we have seen 2 high scoring affairs and we expect more high scoring matches in Sharjah and huge sixes in upcoming matches.

 

Man of the Match: Sharjeel Khan

Moment of the Day: Longest Six competition presented to you by U. Akmal, Sharjeel Khan and Shane Watson

Shock of the Day: Sam Billing making mess in the fielding. Easy Catches dropped by Delport, Azhar Ali and Zohaib Khan

 



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