Brisbane Heat’s Lewis Gregory has impressed with bat and ball to lift two-time champions Islamabad United to a three-wicket win against Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League.
Earlier on Sunday, fast bowler Shaheen Afridi and Afghanistan legspinner Rashid Khan spurred Lahore Qalandars to a four-wicket win over former champions Peshawar Zalmi.
Gregory, the 28-year-old Englishman who was part of the Heat’s run to the penultimate match in the BBL, claimed 2-31 after Islamabad chose to field.
Multan were restricted to 8-150 with Australian Chris Lynn making just one before skipper Mohammad Rizwan’s spirited 71 off 53 balls
Veteran Shahid Afridi gave Multan hope when the 40-year-old legspinner bagged 2-24, took a catch and brilliantly ran out Iftikhar Ahmed off a direct throw.
But Gregory’s unbeaten 49 off 31 balls, including a six and three fours off four successive balls in the penultimate over of Sohail Tanvir, propelled Islamabad to 7-151 with six balls to spare.
England’s Alex Hales, the BBL’s leading scorer, had launched Islamabad’s innings with 29 off 20 balls.
Earlier, Shaheen Afridi had bagged 3-14 and Rashid didn’t concede a boundary in his impressive PSL debut figures of 0-14 as Peshawar were restricted to 6-140.
Rashid’s belligerent unbeaten 27 off 15 balls – including a winning six over midwicket – helped Lahore cruise to 6-143 in 18.3 overs to give last year’s finalists a successful start.
“I call that shot the mini-helicopter, just try to go for it,” said Rashid, who will be playing in just one more PSL game before joining Afghanistan for their series against Zimbabwe.
“The best thing is to finish it off with the bat and I got an opportunity today,” he said.