King cameo helps leaders Islamabad takedown Sammy’s Zalmi

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West Indies batsman Brandon King. (file photo)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates– West Indies white ball discard Brandon King produced a starring role for Islamabad United. They beat Daren Sammy’s Peshawar Zalmi by 15 runs in a high-scoring contest to continue top of the Pakistan Super League.

Playing at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Thursday, Islamabad posted a record of 247 for two of their 20 overs – the highest ever total in the league’s five-year history.

Zalmi, featuring the West Indies pair of Rovman Powell and Sherfane Rutherford, responded gamely with 232 for six – the third highest-ever total in the PSL – but found themselves short in the end.

Islamabad is four points clear at the top of the league standings on 14 points, with Zalmi second alongside Lahore Qalanders.

Multan Sultans are fourth on eight points, occupying the final playoff spot.

Sent in, Islamabad was propelled by Australian Usman Khawaja’s sublime 105 not out off 56 deliveries, the left-hander striking 13 fours and three sixes at the top of the order.

He put on 98 for the first wicket with New Zealander Colin Munro, whose 48 came from 28 deliveries, and a further 47 for the second wicket with Asif Ali hammered a remarkable 14-ball 43 with two fours and five sixes.

The 26-year-old King, who has played four One-Day Internationals and 11 Twenty20 Internationals, then arrived to help provide the finishing touches for the innings, lashing an unbeaten 46 off 22 balls with five fours and three sixes.

Along with Khawaja, King put on 102 off 43 balls in a sensational end to the innings.

In reply, Pakistan superstar Shoaib Malik was top-scored with 68. At the same time, fellow countryman Kamran Akmal struck 53, the pair adding 53 for the third wicket after Hazratullah Zazai (0) Imam-ul-Haq (7) perished cheaply.

Shoaib then posted another 40 for the fourth wicket with Powell (14) before adding 46 for the fifth, with Rutherford blasted an eight-ball 29, including four and four sixes.

Captain Wahab Riaz (28 not out) and Umaid Asif (20 not off) produced a last-ditch effort in a 47-run unbroken seventh-wicket stand, but the target proved out of reach for Zalmi.

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