Pakistan Super League set off with Islamabad United winning the first match of the season against Peshawar Zalmi. In the T20 at Dubai International Stadium, the Champion of the previous season marked victory by seven wickets. Brad Haddin emerged as the key player scoring 73 off 39. Both the innings had excellent partnerships making the game an exciting one on one. In the first stretch, Peshawar’s Dawid Malan, and Kamran Akmal delivered the longest partnership of PSL so far. They scored 122 runs, of which, Akmal contributed 88 off 68 balls. However, the total tally remained restricted to 190.
While chasing, Islamabad faced an early wobble losing Sharjeel Khan in the second over. Later, Dwayne Smith and Brad Haddin delivered a 104-run partnership steering the chase. When Haddin was removed, the team already reached 118 runs in 13.1 overs. In less than four overs, the score hauled to 166 with Smith’s wicket in 16.6 overs. The victory seemed too close when rain interrupted the match and was cut short by last two overs. The team chased the score to 175 for 3 wickets in 17.4 overs. The team also had a stringent bowling attack in the previous inning. Shane Watson claimed 4 Peshawar wickets exhausting the end line-up.
The winners were salvaged by Haddin and Smith, without whom a target of 191 could have been much difficult. Furthermore, bowlers Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Sami bowled strong throughout eight overs taking three wickets. They incurred the wobble in Peshawar’s batting line up, which was knocked down further by Shane Watson. The contrasting difference in the teams was how the players batted after they lost their top batmen. In both the innings, there was considerable partnerships, but Islamabad batsmen steered the inning to victory while Peshawar lost it all. Haddin was awarded Player of the Match.
In the last PSL season, Islamabad United six matches back to back until they grabbed the trophy. This season, the team won the first match setting off the points table. Whatever be the result, the first match made it clear that PSL became much competitive just over the year.
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