Islamabad United rode on Brad Haddin’s 39-ball 73 to clinch a seven-wicket win over Peshawar Zalmi in the opening match of the Pakistan Super League at the Dubai International Stadium on Thursday.
Batting first Peshawar Zalmi scored 190/9 after Kamran Akmal scored a 48-ball 88. In reply, Islamabad United reached the revised target (175/3), following Duckworth/Lewis Method, in 17.4 overs.
Islamabad’s chase started on a bad note as Sharjeel Khan (1) fell cheaply. But then a 104-run second-wicket stand between Dwayne Smith (55) and Haddin took them over the line. Though the former fell to Junaid Khan and the latter was dismissed by Chris Jordan, Shane Watson (26*) and Sam Billings (7*) ensured there was no hiccup.
Earlier, Watson performed with the ball too, picking four wickets for 44, to be Islamabad’s best bowler.
Islamabad United are the defending champions of PSL.
Meanwhile, Pakistan cricket chief Shaharyar Khan opened the second edition of the PSL, describing the glitzy Twenty20 event as key to paving the way for his country’s return to hosting international series.
Pakistan has been a no-go zone for all of their major rivals since a terror attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in March 2009.
The Pakistan city is due to host the PSL final on March 5 after all the qualifying games are completed in the United Arab Emirates, the team’s home-from-home for international cricket for the last eight years.
“We are staging the second edition of the PSL with the aim of staging the final in Lahore on March 5,” said PCB chairman Khan as he welcomed fans to the Dubai Stadium.