ISLAMABAD: Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt set a record for the highest opening partnership in T20s, adding an unbroken 209, in an astonishing batting display that propelled Lahore Whites to a 109-run win over Islamabad. Their partnership meant that Lahore had another T20 record – the highest innings score by a team without losing a wicket.
Kamran’s knock was devastating, as the former Pakistan wicketkeeper scored 150 off 71 balls, the highest score by a Pakistani batsman in the format. He hit 14 fours and a dozen sixes, even as Butt played a more sedate knock of 55 off 49. The pair surpassed the opening partnership of 207 set by Kent batsmen Joe Denly and Daniel Bell-Drummond in the Natwest t20 Blast earlier this year, and notched up only the third 200-plus opening stand in T20 cricket. There was no respite for Islamabad, none of their five bowlers going at less than 9.50 runs per over.
Islamabad never began to mount a realistic chase as Lahore’s bowlers struck regularly and were economical. Wahab Riaz was perhaps the most impressive, dismissing two batsman and conceding only 7 runs in three overs, but Umaid Asif stood out despite being the only Lahore bowler to end wicketless. He conceded a mere six runs in his full quota of four overs, including a maiden, as Islamabad were scuttled out for 100.
Lahore Whites had already secured their path to the semis before this game, but the margin of the win ensured they finished above their local rivals Lahore Blues and took top spot.