Karachi, January 31: Sensational half-centuries from openers Paul Stirling and Alex Hales started Islamabad United’s HBL Pakistan Super League 2022 campaign with a commanding win over Peshawar Zalmi.
Islamabad overhauled 169-run target on the back of a blazing partnership worth 112 in 9.4 overs between the two. Stirling recorded Islamabad United’s fastest 50, breaching the landmark in just 18 balls. He spanked seven fours and three sixes in his 25-ball 57.
After Stirling was run out, Hales continues to score briskly. He raced to 82 not out off 54, hitting 13 fours and a six, as Islamabad chased down the target with 25 balls spare.
That Peshawar Zalmi had posted 168 was because of a remarkable 70 not out off 46 by Sherfane Rutherford. The left-handed batter helped Peshawar stage a recovery after walking in to bat with his team at a precarious 35 for four. He was supported by Ben Cutting (26 off 17) in the death as the two added 51 in 29 balls.
“It was incredible to be out in the middle. The ball was coming onto the bat nicely. The wickets in Karachi are always good to bat on and today’s was a fantastic one to bat on. I thoroughly enjoyed the partnership with Paul Stirling and credit to him how he provided us a great start. Once he got going, all I had to do was carry the momentum and having him by my side eased the pressure off me,” Alex Hales said after the match.
“We have gotten an ideal start to the HBL PSL 2022 and now the idea is to build on this beginning. I am extremely excited for this season,” he added.
Scores in brief:
Peshawar Zalmi 168-6, 20 overs (Sherfane Rutherford 70, Ben Cutting 26, Shoaib Malik 25; Faheem Ashraf 2-23, Hasan Ali 2-34)
Islamabad United 172-1, 15.5 overs (Alex Hales 82 not out, Paul Stirling 57)