Watch how Islamabad United beat Peshawar Zalmi in Karachi to clinch the third edition of Pakistan Super League
Islamabad United 154 for 7 (Ronchi 52, Farhan 44, Asif 26) beat Peshawar Zalmi 148 for 9 (Jordan 36, Dawson 33, Shadab 3-25)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
In a nutshell
Luke Ronchi v Kamran Akmal was billed as the deciding mini match-up in the PSL final. Kamran failed, but Ronchi continued showing the dazzling form that will be the trademark of this year’s PSL. His 26-ball 52 helping Islamabad United steer ahead and then overcome a proper collapse to their second title in three years.
Islamabad looked like romping home when Ronchi and Sahibzada Farhan put on 96 for the opening partnership in under nine overs, in chase of 155. But an extraordinary collapse resulted in them losing six for 20. All of a sudden, scoring a run became a gigantic task.
Then, a moment that will live in Kamran’s memory as a bitter rejoinder to a memorable PSL came when Asif Ali attempted an audacious – and immeasurably daft – pull shot off Umaid Asif with Islamabad needing 30 off 33 balls. Kamran raced almost towards fine leg in a desperate attempt to snare a catch he would have done better leaving to the outfielder. He misjudged it and let it through his gloves. Then Sameen Gul picked up the ball and threw it at the stumps, only to miss and concede four overthrows.
That sudden reprieve and the six runs to boot, released the tension in the warm Karachi air, and Peshawar were suddenly deflated again. Asif Ali smashed three sixes on the trot off Hasan Ali, while Faheem Ashraf hooked Wahab Riaz for six with just one required. Eventually Islamabad completed a win that – but for a chaotic 31 balls – had never appeared in any doubt.
Peshawar had, in truth, not played their best game. Perhaps a little jaded after winning four do-or-die encounters on the trot, they came out not looking quite as sharp as they needed to be. The in-form Kamran was out lbw for 1 off 8, with Samit Patel inflicting the early damage. It required a gritty fourth-wicket fifty-partnership between Chris Jordan and Liam Dawson to ensure Daren Sammy’s men weren’t blown away. Even so, Shadab Khan, who bowled better than he has in an otherwise slightly off-colour tournament, took three wickets to set Peshawar back once more, and the 148 they mustered owed a massive debt to a priceless cameo from Wahab, who whacked 28 off 14 to take his side to a total that was enough in last year’s PSL final.
Where the match was won
Ronchi’s consistency has made him a potent asset for Islamabad, far more than they could have imagined at the draft – no matter how well-researched the signing was. He broke the back of a modest target very early on, smashing five sixes in the first five overs as he stormed to 45 off just 15 balls. For a while, the game looked like a replica of the one Islamabad played last week against Karachi to qualify for the final, when Ronchi and Farhan – who played his own part with 44 off 33 balls – took Islamabad to 97 at over 11 runs per over. His timing off world-class bowlers, and the confidence he has shown in backing himself against them, has been one of the surprises of this tournament, and he had one final attack in him to sting Peshawar in Karachi.
The men that won it
After a breakout season in last year’s PSL and a fairytale beginning to his Pakistan career, Shadab Khan has had an indifferent PSL this time around. He hasn’t had the best luck, but consistency has been missing from his game, with his varieties not quite as well disguised as they can be. He’s cut a frustrated figure with the bowl at times, but on the biggest domestic stage of all, the legspinner – still only 19, lest we forget – rose to the occasion.
He got rid of Andre Fletcher just as the West Indian began to look menacing, with a variation doing the trick, a quicker ball darting into his pads to trap him in front. At the death, he ripped the heart out of Peshawar’s powerful lower middle order, bowling Sammy a beautiful googly that trapped him as plum in front as could be. The very next ball Umaid Asif was on his way, also lbw, as Shadab’s focus on hitting the stumps brought him rich rewards. Ronchi and co. would be thanking him for needing to chase significantly fewer runs than they might otherwise have required.