After copping their first loss of the season in the game against Multan Sultans, Islamabad United bounced back against Quetta Gladiators in a high-scoring encounter.
The two-time former champions amassed the tournament’s highest score (229-4), thanks to half-centuries by Paul Stirling (58), Colin Munro (72*), and Azam Khan (65).
The Gladiators had a decent start but once the first wicket fell, Islamabad United bowlers took over, and then there was only going to be one winner. Shadab Khan, fresh from a 91 the other day, had a five-for this time.
On current form and what we’ve seen so far, Islamabad are part of a trio that seems to be genuine contenders, with Multan and Lahore being the other two. This much is evident from the points table but also the eye test.
Like Islamabad United, Lahore Qalandars too have won two of their three matches and lost only to Multan Sultans.
They opened the tournament with a slim defeat to the defending champions but then notched impressive wins over Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi.
That second win over Zalmi came despite the Qalandars dropping as many as six catches in what was easily the worst display of fielding by any team in the tournament so far.
Lahore are benefitting from the rich vein of form of Fakhar Zaman, who now has a century and two half-centuries in three outings. His reputation of being a slow start has now started to diminish.