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Islamabad United beat Multan Sultans to win PSL 9 title

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KARACHI: Imad Wasim’s all-round exploits steered Islamabad United to their third Pakistan Super League title with a thrilling victory over Multan Sultans in the blockbuster PSL 9 final here at National Bank Stadium on Monday.

Set to chase 160 for their third PSL title, Islamabad United had a flying start to the pursuit as their new opening pair of Colin Munro and Martin Guptill scored 20 off the first two overs.

But the duo failed to continue the flying start as Munro fell victim to Khushdil Shah on the first delivery of the fourth over. He made 17 off 13 with the help of four boundaries.

The United then lost two more wickets in quick succession as Salman Ali Agha (10) and Shadab Khan (4) perished after scoring cheaply.

But Guptill remained firm and kept the scoreboard ticking in a crucial fourth-wicket partnership with Azam Khan before a mix-up drew curtains on his tremendous knock.

He remained the top-scorer for the United with a 32-ball 50, peppered with four boundaries and three sixes.

Azam then partnered with Imad Wasim for a brief 19-run partnership, which lasted in the 16th over, courtesy of a brilliant DRS by Mohammad Rizwan off Usama Mir.

He smashed four boundaries and a six on his way to a 22-ball 30.

The United then sustained another massive blow to their pursuit as in-form Haider Ali and Faheem Ashraf walked back in consecutive overs, bringing the equation down to 129/7.

The two-time champions then needed 31 off 17 deliveries with Imad and Naseem Shah at the crease.

The duo batted sensibly and brought the United in touching distance before Mohammad Ali dismissed Naseem Shah with a bumper on the penultimate delivery.

Islamabad United needed one run off the final delivery with Hunain Shah on the strike. The No.10 batter sensibly guided the ball towards the third-man region to steer his team over the line.

For the Sultans, Iftikhar Ahmed and Khushdil Shah bagged two wickets each while Usama Mir, Mohammad Ali and David Willey struck out a batter apiece.

Opting to bat first, the Sultans managed to register a subpar total on the board in the PSL 9 final despite Usman Khan’s anchoring half-century and Iftikhar Ahmed’s late onslaught.

The Sultans got off to a dismal start to their innings as their young opener Yasir Khan (6) fell victim to Imad Wasim in the second over.

Promoted to bat at No.3, vice-captain David Willey (6) had a brief stay at the crease as he too, fell victim to Imad after hitting the latter for a six.

Following the slump, Usman Khan then joined his skipper Mohammad Rizwan in the middle and the duo launched recovery.

The pair added 53 runs for the third wicket before Rizwan fell victim to his United counterpart Shadab Khan in the 10th over after scoring a run-a-ball 26.

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Usman then took reigns of the Sultans’ batting expedition and put together brief partnerships with Johnson Charles and Khushdil Shah before perishing in the 16th over.

He remained the top-scorer for the Sultans with a gutsy 57 off 40 deliveries, laced up with seven boundaries and a six.

His dismissal sparked a lower middle-order collapse, triggered by Imad Wasim’s sensational last over, who returned with tremendous bowling figures of 5/22 in his four overs.

Consequently, the Sultans had been reduced to 127/9 in 17 overs before Iftikhar Ahmed launched a counterattack.

The right-handed batter smashed three boundaries and as many sixes on his way to a blistering 32-run cameo which came off just 20 deliveries.

Besides Imad, skipper Shadab chipped in for the United with the ball in the PSL 9 final, picking up three wickets for 32 runs in his quota of four overs.

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