DUBAI: Islamabad United’s key player Shane Watson’s back to back boundaries (two sixes and one four) to Junaid Khan in second last over took the pressure off the shoulder of the team and fixed the victory for the previous year’s champions. In the rain interrupted match, the target had been reduced to 173 runs and similarly overs had been reduced to 18. Dwayne Smith went hand to hand with Watson in strengthening United’s run rate and scored 55 runs off 49 balls in a wise inning. Brad Haddin was another star player for Islamabad United, who scored 73 runs off 39 balls, but was caught by Kamran Akmal behind the wickets off a ball by Chris Jordan. Brad Haddin was declared as the Player of the Match. This was Islamabad United’s sixth successive win. Earlier seeming a tough side expected to post 200+ runs target, Peshawar Zalmi got a little shaky and lost quick four wickets as entered the 16th over of the first inning hence ending up scoring 190 runs on the loss of nine wickets. Hafeez scored a duck and Malan was caught out on Shane Watson’s ball after scoring 38 runs. He was followed by English T20 skipper, Eoin Morgan, who was caught out by the ‘magician’ Saeed Ajmal’s magical delivery. Peshawar Zalmi’s captain Sammy came in after Kamran Akmal’s master blaster innings of 88 runs was brought to an end by pacer Muhammad Sami. He hit six fours and as many sixes playing just 48 balls. Sammy scored just seven runs off seven balls and was caught out on a wide delivery by Irfan. Afridi could also make just four runs off just as many balls. Zalmi had posted 100 run in less than 10 overs after losing a wicket on the first ball of the match, but that pace didn’t go till the last ball.
Islamabad United: Misbah ul Haq (capt), Mohammad Sami, Saeed Ajmal, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin, Sam Billings, Dwayne Smith, Imran Khalid, Amad Butt.
Peshawar Zalmi: Darren Sammy (capt), Eoin Morgan, Chris Jordan, Shakib al Hasan, Dawid Malan, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, Junaid Khan, Hasan Ali, Haris Sohail.