Luke Ronchi powers Islamabad United to PSL playoff spot

Islamabad register 33-run thumping win over Multan Sultans

Former New Zealand international Luke Ronchi played an another impressive hand as Islamabad United registered a thumping win over Multan Sultans by 33 runs to book their place in the playoffs of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) third edition in Sharjah on Tuesday.

On a day where Sultans needed a win to keep everything in their hands in regards to qualification in the next round, captain Shoaib Malik won the toss and opted to field first.

His decision, however, backfired drastically as United posted a huge total of 185-4 in their allotted 20 overs.The star of the show once again for Misbah-ul-Haq’s men was wicketkeeper-batsman Luke Ronchi, who scored an outstanding 58 off 36, including six fours and three sixes.He was well supported by Englishman Alex Hales, who was playing his first match in the tournament and scored 46 off 33 with the help of five fours and two sixes. Young Hussain Talat also made a valuable contribution of 36 off 21.For Sultans, veteran right-arm pacer Umar Gul claimed two, whereas leg-spinner Imran Tahir claimed one wicket.

In reply, Sultans had a horrid start to say the least as they lost first four wickets for just 20 runs inside the first five overs.Even though West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard produced one astonishing innings of 73 off 47 with the help of five fours and six sixes, but it was never going to be enough for the Sultans side, who could not recover from early jolts and were bowled out for just 152 in 19.1 overs.For United, left-arm spinner Samit Patel, leg-spinner Shadab Khan and pacers Amad Butt and Faheem Ashraf claimed two wickets a piece.

For his outstanding batting performance, Luke Ronchi once again was named player of the match. Sultans will now need Peshawar Zalmi to lose one of their two games to cement a place in the next round.

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