Peshawar Zalmi bowlers and Hazratullah Zazai guided their team to a comprehensive six-wicket win against defending champions Karachi Kings in match 24 of the Pakistan Super League 6 in Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Zalmi were given a target of 109 by the Kings and the team completed the target with 54 balls to spare.
Early in the chase, Zalmi lost Kamran Akmal to Aamir Yamin in the second over for 9 when he tried to drive him towards mid-off but instead, the ball hit his stumps.
The early wicket would have given hope to the Kings to make it a tough run chase for Peshawar.
However, Hazratullah Zazai and Haider Ali took it upon themselves to hit the Kings bowlers all over the ground and leave them helpless against their assault.
In the sixth over, Zazai completed his half-century off 17 balls to join teammate Kamran Akmal and Islamabad United’s Asif Ali in holding the record for the joint-fastest half-century.
The Zalmi were looking good and could have defeated the Kings by nine wickets but late wickets by the Karachi bowlers reduced the margin.
It looked like Zazai would end the game with an unbeaten score but Imad Wasim played spoilsport and dismissed the Afghan spinner in the ninth over for 63. In the same over the Kings’ captain also dismissed Shoaib Malik after he tried to hit him over a six to take his side closer to the finish line.
In the next over, Noor Ahmed dismissed Haider Ali to push them four down but the game was already out of Karachi’s hands.
In the 12th over, Ahmed bowled a wide that went for a four to give Peshawar Zalmi a win.
The victory has taken Peshawar to the number two spot on the points table and pushed the Kings down to number five.
Peshawar Zalmi innings
In the first innings, Zalmi skipper Wahab Riaz led his bowlers to restrict Kings to 108 runs.
Riaz, who opened the bowling for his side, dismissed in-form batsman Babar Azam for a duck off the third ball in the first over to set the tone for his team.
And in the third over, Sameen Gul took the consecutive wickets of Martin Guptill and Chadwick Walton to put the Kings at 12/3.
Sharjeel Khan’s hitting in the next few overs helped the Kings improve their score and give the side hope. But Wahab dismissed the explosive batsman for 25 in his second over of the game after Sharjeel tried to hit him for a six at square leg.
At the end of the 10 overs, the Kings were 58/4 with Imad Wasim and Najibullah Zadran at the crease.
The two struggled to take off against the Zalmi bowlers and the pressure eventually piled up on the batsmen.
In the 14th over, debutant Abrar Ahmed dismissed Zadran and Yamin to push the Kings to 67/6.
Wahab brought himself into the attack in the 16th over and dismissed the Kings’ captain Wasim, who was looking to use the last five overs to attack the Zalmi bowlers.
The Zalmi skipper then gave debutant Abrar the ball once again and the spinner did not disappoint his captain, dismissing Waqas Maqsood to put the Kings eight down.
In the 18th over, a lacklustre run by Mohammad Amir put the Kings nine down.
The side were looking to get dismissed under 100 runs but a late cameo by Abbas Afridi took the team to 108. The tailender ended the innings as the highest run-getter for his team in the match with 27 runs to his name.
For Zalmi, skipper Wahab, and debutant Abrar took three wickets each and Sameen Gul ended the innings with two scalps to his name.
Earlier, Zalmi had opted to field first after winning the toss against the Kings.
Peshawar Zalmi: Kamran Akmal (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Haider Ali, Shoaib Malik, Rovman Powell, Sherfane Rutherford, Abrar Ahmed, Wahab Riaz (c), Umaid Asif, Mohammad Irfan, Sameen Gul
Karachi Kings: Imad Wasim (c), Babar Azam, Sharjeel Khan, Najibullah Zadran, Noor Ahmed, Martin Guptill, Chadwick Walton (wk), Abbas Afridi, Waqas Maqsood, Moahmmad Amir, Aamer Yamin