Islamabad United v Lahore Qalandars, PSL 2016, Sharjah February 10, 2016

Watson, Sharjeel blitz gives Islamabad second win

ESPNcricinfo staff

Islamabad United 169 for 2 (Sharjeel 79*, Watson 79) beat Lahore Qalandars 166 for 6 (Rizwan 50*, Sami 2-21) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

File photo - Shane Watson, leading Islamabad United in Misbah-ul-Haq's absence, hit a belligerent 47-ball 79 © PSL

A display of uninhibited hitting from Shane Watson and Sharjeel Khan helped Islamabad United secure an eight-wicket win over Lahore Qalandars in Sharjah on Wednesday night. A second successive victory meant Islamabad also lifted themselves off the bottom of the points table.

Watson, leading Islamabad after Misbah-ul-Haq failed to recover from a calf injury, smashed a 47-ball 79. Sharjeel matched him stroke-for-stroke in a 153-run opening stand before Ehsan Adil had Watson caught down the leg side, with Islamabad needing just 14 more. Andre Russell, promoted to No. 3, holed out for 2, but Sharjeel finished the game off with back-to-back sixes as Islamabad won with 25 balls and eight wickets to spare. Sharjeel stayed unbeaten on 79 off 43 balls.

Lahore didn't make things easy for them as they gave Watson a reprieve on 11 when Cameron Delport put down a chance at square leg off Kevon Cooper. It proved to be a costly miss as Watson used the short side boundaries in Sharjah as his ally by crunching four fours and seven sixes.

The chase was kickstarted by Sharjeel, who hit Ehsan Adil for 20 runs off the fourth over. Watson caught on from there, doing a bulk of the scoring over the next few overs. He was the first to raise his half-century off 37 balls, while Sharjeel brought up his own off just 26 deliveries.

With the personal landmarks out of the way, both batsmen continued their nonchalant display of six-hitting as Cooper's second over went for 25 to reduce the target down to 23 off the last eight overs. The lack of sting in the bowling seemed to have had a deflating effect on Lahore, even though they managed two wickets as the batsmen fell to big shots.

The ferocity of the hitting was such that Lahore's effort with that bat, which was fuelled by Mohammad Rizwan almost went unnoticed. Rizwan, who came in to bat with the scorecard reading 89 for 4 in the 13th over, marshalled the lower order and made an unbeaten 27-ball 50, including five fours and three sixes. It helped repair the early damage caused by Mohammad Sami and Saeed Ajmal.

The last five overs fetched 58, but any thoughts of 166 being a potentially defendable total were quashed by the belligerence of Watson and Sharjeel as Lahore, who were without the services of Chris Gayle because of flu, slumped to the bottom of the table.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • FawadAlam4Lyfe on February 12, 2016, 12:07 GMT

    Does anyone here now why he was dropped from pak t20 squad in the first place? In the three matches he played for pak, he averaged 30+ at 140+ SR.

  • Aqib on February 11, 2016, 13:25 GMT

    @muhandis stick to commenting on india sir. Many Pakistan fans have called for Sharjeel to be in the t20 squad for a while now. He has an average of 34 in International t20's. Yes that is only over 3 matches but he is ideal for t20..a genuine match winner. 29 average over 50 t20 matches domesticly. We have had this genuine opener in the ranks for so long yet they can't give him a good go at the top of the order.

  • kamran on February 11, 2016, 12:17 GMT

    yesterday night it was really exciting to watched Watson and Sharjeel power hitting , such a wonderful exhibition of huge sixes. which fancy fan's heart. on was one occasion it seems that sharjeel and Watson in a competition for hitting longest six of PSL.

  • Shahood Asif on February 11, 2016, 11:47 GMT

    PSL..... really going as an excellent league. ... very good effort by pakistan and pcb....

  • Saq on February 11, 2016, 8:59 GMT

    With 5 uncapped players in the format, why even bother playing in the WC? To cause you an embarrassment, that's why. Watch them get out to stupid shots at 46/5 in their panic. This isn't something that many fans would go in with a good heart expecting a win. The ones that do, they probably know what the rest of us don't. Please enlighten us.

  • jhg on February 11, 2016, 8:42 GMT

    can anyone tell me why is Azhar Ali blocking the ay for the talented Mukhtar Ahmad. Muktar is a genuine T20 opener while as Azhar is not even a ODI player, forget about t20, why is he so selfish ?

  • Muhammad Usama on February 11, 2016, 8:36 GMT

    As a captain, Shahid Afridi supports Umer Akmal so,why he does not support Sherjeel Khan.He is best T20 opener for Pakistan.

  • Hariz Khan on February 11, 2016, 8:22 GMT

    Well u can certainly watch the differnece in atmosphere and pitch between sharjah and dubai. I think all matches should be played at sharjah

  •   Haris Khan on February 11, 2016, 7:29 GMT

    @ muhandis; not sure how much you follow pakistan cricket but sharjeel khan should've been a permanent in pakistans's t20's and odis for past couple of years. It's only because pakistan cricket is run by people of literally no intellect like haroon rasheed and crap that just can't tell the difference. Meanwhile, pakistan cricket is dead if they keep on assuming that bowlers like wahab riaz and anwar ali are a viable option, guess what? we just approved for riman raees who? for the world cup and asia cup. We've got outright great fast bowlers in the circuit and if we keep on avoiding them then pakistan cricket is dead! Please go away Intikhab alam and haroon rashid! please!!!!!!!!

  • Owais Raza on February 11, 2016, 7:01 GMT

    Seems like Watson will only perform when he is given captaincy

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