Islamabad United 151 for 7 (Gregory 49*, Brathwaite 2-23) beat Multan Sultans 150 for 8 (Rizwan 71, Wasim 3-29) by three wickets
Lewis Gregory dragged Islamabad United across the line in their season opener against Multan Sultans in Karachi with 49 not out from 31 balls to seal a three-wicket win with six balls to spare.
Mohammad Rizwan underpinned the Sultans’ total of 150 after they had been asked to bat, but despite posting the highest score of the season’s opening weekend, they looked short of par, not least having been 92 for 3 after 11 overs. The United’s chase was derailed by the Shahid Afridi show in the middle overs, as they slumped to 74 for 6 after 11.1 overs, but Gregory’s cameo saw them home.
The United had won two of the first three PSL titles but failed to reach the play-offs for the first time in 2020, finishing bottom of the league stage and winning only three of their 10 fixtures. But they have recruited well ahead of this season, with Alex Hales, Gregory and Hasan Ali among the star names to join the squad, and have started with a win despite not quite clicking.
Star of the day
Gregory underwhelmed for Brisbane Heat in the BBL, but starred on debut for his new franchise. With the ball, he removed his compatriot James Vince, who slashed him to deep third man, and had Khushdil Shah caught at long-on. His final over, the 17th, cost only six runs as he finished with 2 for 31 from his four overs.
But he was the United’s match-winner with the bat, ruthlessly targeting Sohail Tanvir at the death and hitting him for 26 off 11 balls in all. With 20 needed from 11 balls, he hit Tanvir for a six then three fours to finish the job, picking his gaps with strong shots around the ground. Gregory was aided by Faheem Ashraf, who chipped in with a cameo of 22 off 12.
Full report to follow…
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @mroller98
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