KARACHI: Colin Munro’s ruthless batting and young fast bowlers’ enabled Islamabad United to put Quetta Gladiators on the brink of elimination with a ten-wicket win over them in their crucial game of the HBL PSL-6 at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday night.
Set to score 134, Colin Munro (90*) and Usman Khawaja (40*) shared 137 runs for the unbroken first-wicket stand as United chased the target with ten overs to spare. The duo brought in a record 97 runs in the powerplay.
Munro, who brought in his fifty off 20 balls, was merciless from the start. Khawaja slowly got the momentum and managed a few good shots towards the end of the chase. New Zealand’s Munro’s quick footwork and placement was phenomenal, with Gladiators bowlers finding it tough to restrict him.
The first over, bowled by Naseem Shah, leaked 19 runs. The young Test pacer, who had come as a concussion substitute for Andre Russel, was not handed the ball again.
Munro hit five sixes and 12 fours in his 36-ball feat.
Khawaja hit one six and six fours in his 27-ball knock.
Leggie Zahid Mehmood gave away 36 runs in just two overs.
The victory took United to second spot in the points table with eight points from six games (four wins, two defeats).
Gladiators, who suffered their fifth loss, continue to languish at the bottom of the six-team table with a mere two points from six matches (one win, five defeats).
Naseem was brought in as a concussion replacement for Andre Russell, who was hit by a bouncer from Musa Khan during the 14th over of Quetta’s batting.
After being put into bat by United captain Shadab Khan, the Gladiators were bowled out on the last ball of their 20 overs for 133.
The Gladiators lost wickets at regular intervals and only four batsmen managed to reach double figures.
Jake Weatherald, who made his HBL PSL debut , top-scored with 43 off 35 balls, laced with three fours and two sixes. The left-handed batsman contributed 39 runs for the third-wicket partnership — the best of the innings with Azam Khan (26 off 23, two fours, one six).
For United, right-arm pacers Hasan Ali, Mohammad Wasim Junior and Mohammad Musa took two wickets apiece. Munro was declared the man of the match.
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