DUBAI: A brisk 85-run partnership between Dwayne Smith and Brad Haddin enabled Islamabad United to bag the first-ever Pakistan Super League (PSL) title here at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday night.
Smith, who smashed a 51-ball 73, and Haddin who contributed an undefeated 61 off 39 balls played the key role in steering Islamabad United to this coveted title. Smith hit seven fours and four sixes in his 73-run knock while Haddin was more attacking as his knock of 61 included two fours and five sixes.
Islamabad chased the target of 175 in 18.4 overs with Haddin and skipper Misbahul Haq at the crease. Other principal scorers for Islamabad were Khalid Latif (16) and Sharjeel Khan (12).The Quetta bowling couldn’t impress in the final with Anwar Ali, Nathan McCullum, Aizaz Cheema and Zulfiqar Babar getting one wicket apiece.
Earlier, Islamabad United, after winning the toss, put the Quetta Gladiators in to bat who fully exploited the track which looked full of runs.Although, the Gladiators lost two early wickets, that of Bismillah Khan at a total of zero and later Kevin Pietersen (18) at 32, yet a magnificent 87-run third wicket partnership between Ahmed Shahzad and Kumar Sangakkara lifted the Gladiators’ total considerably.
This important partnership was finally broken by Andre Russell as Sangakkara departed at a total of 120 after contributing a swashbuckling 55 off just 32 balls. The fourth wicket, that of Muhammad Nawaz, fell at 135 and Ahmed Shahzad also went 12 runs later after contributing a brisk 64 off 39 balls.
Wickets then went on falling at regular intervals as the momentum generated by Shahzad and Sangakkara could not continue. It was only the last over of the Gladiators innings which produced 15 runs taking their ultimate total to 174 for seven, setting a target of 175 for the Islamabad United.
Andre Russell turned out to be the most successful of the Islamabad United bowlers returning with figures of 3 for 26, followed by Muhammad Irfan who bagged 2 for 25. Muhammad Sami and Samuel Badree had to be content with one scalp each.
It was a jam-packed stadium in the final where fans kept on cheering for their favourite teams. A large number of cricket enthusiasts were also seen roaming around the 26,000-capacity Dubai International Stadium to get a chance to enter the venue.