Billings 78* steers Islamabad to a five-wicket win over Quetta
Defending Champions showed resolve to brush aside in-form Gladiators.
In ongoing saga of spot-fixing, defending champions Islamabad United showed resilience and bench strength to outclass Quetta Gladiators by five wickets in the game played at Sharjah. Sam Billings led the charge with the bat in the chase and played a superb innings to see his side register second win of the competition.
Billings came as openers in place of Sharjeel Khan who was suspended for his alleged involvement in spot fixing in Pakistan Super League. England star showed his value and rose to the occasion for United with unbeaten 78 runs off 50 balls.He struck eight fours and three sixes in his innings. The defending champions Islamabad were placed in a tricky situation at 72 for 3 after 11 overs with Misbah and Haddin back in the hut. Billings was joined by Shane Watson as they put on 63 run partnership to take the close to the target of 149 runs posted by Quetta Gladiators.
Earlier in the day, Quetta Gladiators batted first as the side score 149 runs from their 20 overs. Asad Shafiq top scored for Gladiators with run-a-ball 45 runs. Kevin Pietersen and Rilee Rossouw failed to score runs as they were dismissed for low scores. Mahmudullah (29*) and Thisara Perera (27) played an excellent cricket in the last five overs to add another 46 runs to the total to see the Gladiators post a competitive score on the board.
Islamabad United with this win move up to third place in the points table with four points just behind Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators. Quetta will have to tinker with their bowling combination as front line bowlers failed to provide much needed breakthroughs at the start of the innings.
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