Luke Ronchi and Amad Butt turn it on for Islamabad United
That’s the Islamabad United we all know. It might have been predictable, but there was little Multan Sultans could do in the face of a blistering onslaught from Luke Ronchi and Colin Munro to bring down the target of 168. Both raced to half-centuries, and the game as a contest appeared to be over well before the final runs were actually taken, with 3.2 overs to spare. Ronchi (74 off 45) fell just two runs short of the target, looking to hit the winning runs.
The top order has been key to Islamabad’s success so often across the PSL, and with both openers firing, they got off to a flyer. Imran Tahir, introduced in the second over because Ronchi and Munro ostensibly struggle against leg spin, was instead hounded out of the attack after an over in which the batsmen plundered 22 runs. Forty-seven came off the first four, and when the first wicket fell, the partnership already read 92 in 59 balls.
The wicket didn’t stymie the run chase much, with Dawid Malan happy to carry on in Ronchi’s slipstream. Multan tried everything, including bringing on Moeen Ali, who had been the trump card against Lahore Qalandars in the last game. But, he was carted for 19 in his first over and Islamabad raced towards a first win of the tournament.
Islamabad had been tighter with the ball earlier on, helped by how, for the second time in as many days, the Multan captain Shan Masood fell after getting a start. The further loss of Moeen and Rilee Rossouw within three balls was a profound blow to Multans’ momentum, and when James Vince fell in the next over thanks to an exquisite yorker from Amad Butt (4-27) the game was on its way to its very predictable conclusion.