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Islamabad United clinches Pakistan Super League Title

KARACHI: Resilient Islamabad United snatched a last-ball thriller to beat Multan Sultans by two wickets in the final in Karachi on Monday, winning the Pakistan Super League title for a third time. Young Hunain Shah pushed the final delivery of the last over for a boundary towards backward point as United overhauled a modest 160-run target at the National Stadium.

United needed eight runs off the 20th over bowled by Mohammad Ali and Hunain’s elder brother Naseem Shah hit a boundary off the second delivery but with a single needed off the last two deliveries he fell caught behind.

However, Hunain kept his cool to give Sultans defeat in their third successive finals. United skipper Shadab Khan praised a total team effort. “It was a total team effort,” said Shadab. “We peaked at the right time in the league and that mattered in the end.”

United also won the inaugural PSL title in 2016 and doubled it two years later. Earlier, Sultans managed 159-9 in their 20 overs after winning the toss and electing to bat. They were guided by a 40-ball 57 by Usman Khan and 26 by skipper Mohammad Rizwan.

Khan hit seven boundaries and a six but once he fell in the 16th over, Sultans lost five wickets for just 13 runs, slumping to 127-9. Left-arm spinner Imad Wasim was the chief destroyer with 5-23 while Naseem grabbed 3-32.

It was Iftikhar Ahmed who revived the innings with a whirlwind 20-ball 32 not out with three sixes and as many boundaries, scoring 31 in the last two overs. United were also derailed from 121-4 to 129-7 but Wasim guided late order batters with a calm 17-ball 19 to help them cross the finish line.

For the winners, former New Zealand opener Martin Guptill top-scored with a 32-ball 50 with three sixes and four boundaries. Azam Khan hit a 22-ball 30 with a six and four boundaries.

United, Sultans, Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators qualified for the play-offs while Karachi Kings and defending champions Lahore Qalandars were knocked out in the first round of the ninth edition of the League.- AFP

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