DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CMC): Andre Russell’s three-wicket haul and Dwayne Smith’s hostile half century fired Islamabad United to a six-wicket victory over Quetta Gladiators in the finals of the inaugural Pakistan Super League here yesterday.
Smith struck 73 off 51 balls – 52 of which came from boundaries, to anchor an impressive run chase at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
“It was a good pitch, and I said to myself, just go there and back yourself,” said Smith, who was named the Man of the Match.
“It’s a very good group, and I feel at home with everyone, and from the time I came here, I saw that, and I knew this team was going to win the tournament.”
Smith’s fireworks came after his West Indies compatriot Russell led a bowling attack that restricted Gladiators to 174 for seven in 20 overs, following half centuries from Ahmed Shehzad and Kumar Sangakkara.
Shehzad, who hit nine sixes, top-scored with 64 before he was caught by Samuel Badree from a Mohammad Sami delivery, while Russell removed Sangakkara for 55, which included seven sixes.
Russell, the main wicket-taker for the champions, grabbed three wickets for 36 runs, while Samuel Badree picked one for 38.
“Winning has been following me; I’ve won three in a row now – Big Bash, BPL, and now, PSL,” said Russell.
“Once you’re enjoying the game, success is going to follow you. The only problem that I had, or a few others might have had, is the back-to-back games we had, but we are athletes.” CMC