Lahore Qalandars blow it in Super Over finish

In a T20 contest that had more ebbs and flows than most Test matches, Islamabad United edged out Lahore Qalandars, after dragging them, against all logic, into a Super Over – the first in the PSL’s history.


Chasing 16 in the Super Over, Andre Russell smashed 10 off the last two balls off the hapless Mustafizur Rehman, the six to seal it cruelly going over Brendon McCullum’s head at long on to put his side on the brink of elimination.

This was a match that highlighted how low Lahore Qalandars’ confidence had dipped after beginning this season with three losses. If ever a game was set up to be a stroll to kick things off, it was this for Lahore, requiring just 45 off 52 balls with eight wickets in hand. But there was a sense of unease to it, as Agha Salman, who scored what then seemed a match-winning 48 – holed out to fine leg. As McCullum hung on, playing an uncharacteristic knock that began as sensible but ended up with him having lost all rhythm, it increasingly began to look like he was the man that stood between Lahore and another implosion. After he was run out in the final over, it looked like Lahore had indeed blown it, before an unlikely six by debutant Salman Irshad took them to a Super Over. Victory, however, was still elusive.

Islamabad began poorly, with Lahore’s decision to open the bowling with Fakhar Zaman proving inspired. He struck in the first over, and it wasn’t until Hussain Talat – batting far too low at number eight – came in that the innings picked up any momentum. He smashed an unbeaten 33 off 21 to ensure they crossed 120, with every run worth its weight in gold a couple of hours down the line.

Where the match was won

Simply put, in the head. With the Qalandars needing 45 off 52 balls with eight wickets in hand, this game didn’t look like becoming the classic it ended up being. But from the moment Agha Salman was dismissed, jitters began to sweep through the Qalandars. Their lack of batting depth was a concern, exacerbated by everyone that came in after failing to so much as reach double figures. The run rate slowly began to creep up and the pressure on McCullum grew, with Lahore struggling to put the game to bed whenever opportunities arose. Before you knew it, Lahore were eight down with seven required off the final over. It should never have come to this.

The men that won it

Hussain Talat gave Islamabad a total to defend, but from thereon, Mohammad Sami and Andre Russell took over. Sami was superb during his four-over spell, targeting the stumps at pace, not allowing McCullum to free his arms. It was particularly impressive since Sami’s is exactly the kind of bowling that McCullum thrives against. What was more, Sami found his lengths in the Super Over, where, even though he conceded 15, it was a score they could chase down. That was thanks to Russell, who, back from a year out, still remembered how to hold his nerve under pressure to clear long-on and nick the game off the final delivery.

Where they stand

Lahore are firmly at the bottom of the pile, with no wins or points from four games. Islamabad United have 4 points, joint with Peshawar and Quetta. Karachi and Multan occupy the top two slots after their game was washed out today with 7 and 5 points respectively.