SHARJAH: In-form Luke Ronchi’s third half-century of the last four matches helped Islamabad United defeat Multan Sultans by 33 runs in the 25th fixture of the Pakistan Super League 2018 at Sharjah Stadium here on Tuesday night. With that victory, Islamabad secured their qualification for the play-offs, whereas the Multan hopes for reaching the next round now depend on how Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi fare in their remaining league fixtures. Chasing a formidable target of 186 runs, the horror show continued with the bat, Multan losing Kumar Sangakkara and Saif Badar in the first over. Before long, they had been joined in the pavilion by Sohaib Maqsood and Ahmad Shahzad, and Multan were reduced to 20 for 4 chasing 186. Kieron Pollard’s 73 went in vain as Multan crumbled for 152. Pollard with his brilliant knock hindered Islamabad’s ride towards the finish line, before getting dismissed by Muhammad Sami. He belted six sixes in his 47-ball innings to keep Multan in the contest till the last three overs. Samit Patel, Fahim Ashraf, Ammad Butt, Shadab Khan took two wickets each.
Earlier, after Multan won the toss and elected to field first, Islamabad’s pairing of JP Duminy and Ronchi took the crease, with the latter once again in the mood, cracking six boundaries in the opening four overs. Maintaining his fiery form, Ronchi cemented solid basis for Islamabad to reach a high-scoring total. The Kiwi batsman was well assisted by Alex Hales (46) and middle-order batsman Hussain Talat (36 off 21). The Multan bowlers’ lengths were all over the place, with only Umar Gul able to establish any control over the batsmen. Umar claimed two and Imran Tahir took one wicket.
Brief scores: Islamabad United 185 for 4 (Luke Ronchi 58, Alex Hales 46, Umar Gul 2-26) beat Multan Sultans 152 (Kieron Pollard 73, Smith Patel 2-11, Ammad Butt 2-30) by 33 runs.
Today’s matches (Thursday March 15)
27th match: Peshawar Zalmi v Karachi Kings at Sharjah Cricket Stadium at 04:30 PM PST
28th match: Quetta Gladiators v Islamabad United at Sharjah Cricket Stadium at 09:00 PM PST