By a special correspondent
Young batsman Hussain Talat kept his cool to build on Rumman Raees’s brilliant three wicket burst as Ilslamabad beat Multan Sultans in the first match of a double header at Dubai stadium on Sunday.
Hussain hit the winning boundary off Junaid Khan in the 18th over to see Islamabad through to 114-run target after Rumman”s 3-14 in 3.5 overs had restricted Multan to 113-9 in 19.5 overs in a match started ten minutes late due to rain.
Islamabad were struggling in the chase of a modest target and at 63-5 Multan had sensed an upset.
Talat, who remained unbeaten 48 off 34 balls with three sixes and four boundaries, kept his cool in the wicket slide, hitting two sixes off Sohail Tanveer and one off Shoaib Malik to avoid any further hiccups. Faheem Ashraf scored x12 not out as the two left-handers added 54 for the unbroken sixth wicket stand to help Islamabad open their account after losing their first game to Peshawar Zalmi on Saturday.
Multan Sultans lost their first match after winning the first two against Zalmi and Lahore Qalandars.
Islamabad had a disastrous start to their innings when Luke Ronchi failed a second time, caught in the slip off Mohammad Irfan before a run was put on the board. West Indian Chadwick Walton (28 off 23 balls) then set the Islamabad reply back on track before leg-spinner Tahir came into his own.
Tahir, who had figures of 3-19, had Sahibzada Farhan for nine, Walton and then Andre Russell for a first ball duck to leave Islamabad tottering at 63-5. It could have been worse for Islamabad had Kumar Sangakkara not spurned a stump to give a life to Hussain Talat on 11.
Islamabad’s target dropped to 57 in ten and 36 off the last six overs as Multan fought hard to defand the modest target.
Multan Sultans struggled to 113-9 as skipper Rumman joined Mohammad Sami (2-19) and Andre Russell (2-30) rocked them from the outset.
Sangakkara was the prized wicket for Islamabad as after two half centuries in the first two matches he was in good nick. Sangakkara got a life off the third ball but fell to the same bowler Rumman and the same fiedler Asif Ali for six.
Ahmed Shehzad struggled to 24-ball 11. It was left to Kieron Pollard (28) and Shoaib Malik (35) to repair the damage through their 54-run fifth wicket stand. Malik’s 36-ball knock had two sixes while Pollard smashed three boundaries and a six off 19 balls.
But once the partnership was broken, Multan lost four more wickets for just 28 runs, with just 25 coming off the final five overs.