Islamabad United beat Multan Sultans in thrilling clash to claim record third PSL title


Shadab Khan-led unit emerged victorious after a thrilling showdown in the final.

Islamabad United emerged victorious in the ninth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), clinching the title by securing a two-wicket win over Multan Sultans at the National Bank Stadium in Karachi on Monday.

Under the leadership of Shadab Khan, Islamabad attained their third PSL championship, adding to their previous triumphs in 2016 and 2018. With this victory, they now hold the record for the most successful team in the tournament’s history.

The thrilling match reached its climax on the very last delivery, with Hunain Shah stepping up to bat with just one run needed for victory. Showing astute awareness, the young player spotted a gap at point and expertly struck the ball, sending it racing to the boundary for four runs.

After losing three wickets within the powerplay, Islamabad found themselves at 55-3. However, the experienced Martin Guptill and dynamic Azam Khan combined forces to construct a vital 47-run partnership, thereby regaining control and asserting their dominance once more.

Nevertheless, Guptill’s innings came to an end when he was run out for a well-made 50 off 32 deliveries, resulting from a minor miscommunication with Azam, which left Islamabad United at 102-4 after 12.5 overs.

In the initial stages of the first innings, Multan Sultans narrowly avoided a major setback when their captain, Mohammad Rizwan, fell victim to the bowling of Islamabad’s pace ace, Naseem Shah. However, Rizwan, aged 31, was given a reprieve as it was discovered that the 20-year-old bowler had overstepped the crease, granting the batsman a lifeline.

Despite their hopes, the Sultans found little breathing space as Imad Wasim swiftly dispatched the in-form duo of Yasir Khan and David Willey in just the second over of the match.

Following the setback of two early wickets, Multan opted for a composed approach, with Rizwan and Usman Khan forging a vital 53-run alliance. Despite appearing to assert control over the game, the Sultans’ fortunes took a turn when their captain departed in the 10th over, having contributed 26 runs including three boundaries.

Following Rizwan’s departure, wickets continued to tumble, but Usman remained steadfast at the crease, leading the charge against Islamabad’s pace attack. The UAE cricketer swiftly reached his fifty, yet his time on the pitch was short-lived as Shadab Khan intervened, dismissing him for a commendable 57 runs off 40 deliveries.

At one point, it seemed unlikely that the Sultans would surpass the 130-run mark, given they had lost nine wickets for 127 runs with just three overs remaining. However, Iftikhar’s determined presence at the crease proved pivotal as he guided Rizwan’s side to a competitive total with some strategic batting till the end.

In the final overs, Iftikhar showcased his skill, demonstrating his ability to accelerate the scoring rate. The 33-year-old batsman played a brief yet impactful innings, tallying 32 runs off just 20 deliveries. His innings included three boundaries and an equal number of sixes, highlighting his capability to make significant contributions in a short span of time.

In an outstanding performance for Islamabad, Imad claimed five wickets, etching his name in history as the first player to achieve a five-wicket haul in a PSL final. Alongside the 35-year-old, captain Shadab also contributed significantly with three wickets. However, bowlers such as Naseem Shah and Hunain Shah remained without a wicket to their name.

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