Islamabad United 238 for 3 (Delport 117*, Asif 55*, Walton 48*) beat Lahore Qalandars 189 for 9 (Sohail 75, Faheem 6-19) by 49 runs
How the game played out
A day in which batting records tumbled one after another was won by one of the finest bowling spells in T20 cricket by Faheem Ashraf as Islamabad United clinched a playoff berth with a 49-run win over Lahore Qalandars on the opening night of matches at Karachi in PSL 2019.
Cameron Delport produced the fifth century in the history of the PSL - the fastest of the lot too in just 49 balls - as he propelled United to the largest total in PSL history, eclipsing the previous best - 204 for 4 by Lahore Qalandars earlier this year - by 34 runs. Delport added 118 for the third wicket with Chadwick Walton, then another unbroken stand of 88 with Asif Ali to take United through to the end of the innings.
Delport struck the first five balls he faced to or over the boundary in a fiery knock, but appeared out of gas after slog sweeping Sandeep Lamichhane for six on back-to-back balls to bring up his century in the 16th. He only scored 13 runs off the last four overs, opening the door for Asif to take control on the way to bashing the joint-fastest PSL fifty off just 17 balls.
Delport's century was worth its weight in gold, though it was achieved on a flat pitch with incredibly short boundaries. By comparison, Ashraf's 6 for 19 was platinum-encrusted. He took three wickets in his first two overs to slow down a rampaging start to the Qalandars chase, then followed it with three more in a later spell to see off the last remaining threat.
In the fourth over of the match, Delport was on 27 when he miscued a flick in the air over midwicket off Shaheen Afridi but was spilled badly by Sohail Akhtar running back from inside the ring. He added another 90 runs after the second life.
Qalandars were 51 for 0 in four overs, but Ashraf got momentum to shift back towards United in the field for the first time with a five-run fifth over that included the wicket of Anton Devcich driving to Walton at extra cover.
Sohail Akhtar was the last recognized bat for Qalandars and primed for a big finishing kick on 75 with his side needed 64 off the last three overs, tough yet doable under the conditions on the day, before Ashraf induced a mistimed pull to Shadab Khan at long-on for his fifth wicket.
Star of the day
Faheem Ashraf was bowling with a different magic ball compared to every other bowler on either side. After dismissing Anton Devcich, he nabbed Fakhar Zaman for 38 thanks to a sharp sliding catch by Phil Salt at long-on in the seventh before ending the same over getting Haris Sohail driving to backward point. He began his second spell claiming Agha Salman with a miscued slog to deep midwicket for a sharp catch by Shadab Khan, and teamed up with Shadab later to get Sohail Akhtar for the five-for. Faheem rounded off his day yorking Afridi for the second-best figures in PSL history.
The big miss
Poor Luke Ronchi. On a pitch that served up an all-you-can eat buffet for most batsmen, he was out on the first ball of the match to Shaheen, edging a drive that was well taken by a diving Haris Sohail at slip.
Where the teams stand
Islamabad United end the regular season on 10 points and will play either Karachi Kings or Qalandars in the first eliminator. In order for Qalandars to claim the fourth playoff spot, they need to beat last-place Multan Sultans in their final match with a fairly large margin, and hope Kings lose both of their remaining matches to Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi.