RAWALPINDI (Monitoring Desk): Sometimes crash, bang, wallop is fun. It is the principle on which T20 cricket was founded on (look away, haters) and it came to the fore in an entertaining bout that Islamabad United took by a mere two wickets. Faheem Ashraf produced a powerhouse performance, capped by his hitting three fours and a six in the final over to complete the second-highest chase in PSL history.
Multan Sultans would’ve been confident after putting up a total of 205, but they’ll now be thinking back to their own last over which went for zero boundaries but cost two wickets. Until those incredible six balls, yorker specialist Mohammad Wasim had leaked 42 runs. He had to deal with a rampaging Tim David, who was on 60 off 27. Still, he backed himself, went for the blockhole and not only took out Sultans’ biggest hitter, but he also accounted for David Miller off the last ball of the innings.
United do this a lot. They are pure T20, led by an allrounder who loves his data and fuelled by batters who give no room for second thought. They lost eight wickets through the course of this chase. They were 32 for 2, 99 for 4 and 159 for 7. But the longest they went without hitting a boundary after each of those dismissals was seven balls. And as penance for that, they hit the eighth and ninth for fours. United kept coming. They kept coming and coming and coming.
Colin Munro fixed a top-order wobble with 40 off 21. Usama Mir took him out. Shadab Khan regained the momentum with 44 off 25. Ihsanullah demolished his stumps. Ashraf popped up and with 18 needed off six balls, he went 4, 6, 2, 4, 4. The six in that sequence was a wide yorker that went over deep third, after the left-hander had originally intended to paddle sweep the ball. It was bonkers.
Until those final few moments, it felt like Sultans’ game. Shan Masood put on 75 at the top of the order, only he didn’t hit a single six. David came in at No. 4 and compensated for that with a vengeance, clattering four of them off back-to-back balls in a 16th over from Rumman Raees that cost 30 runs. But just as it started to look really bleak, United snuck in an eight-run 19th over from Fazalhaq Farooqi and a six-run 20th over from Wasim and that turned out to be the difference.