PSL: Watson, Sharjeel smash Qalandars into oblivion
Islamabad United players take a selfie to celebrate their eight wicket win over Lahore Qalandars at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Sharjah - Bottom-placed Islamabad seal crucial win over Lahore
Shane Watson and Sharjeel Khan enthralled the spectators at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium by hitting sixes and fours almost at will to deliver a crucial win for bottom-placed Islamabad United over Lahore Qalandars in the ninth match of the Pakistan Super League on Wednesday night.
Chasing a formidable 167 for victory, the Australian standing in as captain for Misbah-ul-Haq, showed why he is a T20 specialist when he plundered seven massive sixes and four fours for his 79 which came off only 47 balls.
But it was his opening partner Sharjeel who gave Watson the confidence by putting the Qalandar bowlers to the sword from the start.
Sharjeel was on fire sending the cherry outside the stadium on a couple of occasions. Watson, no mute spectator in this version of the game, came into his own. Thereafter it was the Qalandar fielders on a wild goose chase with umpires forced to change the ball on a few occasions as it was sent into orbit so to speak by both batsmen.
Sharjeel finished the match with two mighty sixes to remain unbeaten on 79 as Islamabad won the match with eight wickets in hand and 25 balls to spare which should boost their net run rate.
Earlier, Mohammad Rizwan blasted an unbeaten 50 to propel Lahore Qalandars to 166 for 6 after Islamabad United captain Shane Watson won the toss and decided to field.
Mohammad Sami struck early to get rid of Cameron Delport but thereafter the rest of the Qalandars' batsmen managed decent scores. Captain Azhar Ali struck five fours in his 27 from 18 balls before he was trapped by Sami claiming his second wicket.
Naved Yasin reached his 25 from 28 balls with two fours and a six which sailed over the roof.
Dwayne Bravo hit a breezy 26 from 17 balls (three fours) but it was the diminutive Rizwan who stole the show with some power hitting in the slog overs. His 27-ball half century was studded with three massive sixes and five boundaries.