Lahore Qalandars edge out Peshawar Zalmi by 4 wickets in their opening match at Karachi
A disciplined bowling effort from LQ bowlers restricted PZ to a below-average score of 140 runs which was chased down easily by Qalandars resulting in a four-wicket win at the National Stadium Karachi on Sunday.
Chasing an easy target of 141 runs, Fakhar Zaman and Sohail Akhtar was off to a nice start after scoring decent boundaries with the rotation of strike.
Afghan spinner, Mujeebur Rahman struck the first blow after removing the skipper, Sohail Akhtar after he scored 14 off just 14 balls, caught by Shoaib Malik.
Fakhar Zaman was next on the list who made a 15 run a ball knock after being dismissed by Wahab Riaz, Shoaib Malik took a stunning catch. All-rounder Agha Salman had a decent start after scoring 21 off just 16 runs before Amad Butt bowled him out.
The next victim was Ben Dunk who made a fine knock of 22 runs off 14 balls after Wahab Riaz shocked him with a brilliant inswinging yorker that bowled him out.
Lahore Qalandars got steadied for quite a few times after Saqib Mahmood delivered another twist in the game picking up two early wickets.
He first removed the all-rounder Samit Patel who scored 8 off 11 before dismissing David Wiese on a golden duck after reviewing the decision which was given not out on the first call.
As wickets session kept on felling, the veteran all-rounder Muhammad Hafeez tested his experience in front of Zalmi line up. He was joined by Rashid Khan who scored 27 off 15 and the duo guided their side across the line with four wickets to spare in their opening match of PSL season 6.
Hafeez remained unbeaten on 33 off 26 at the end of the innings. The skipper, Wahab Riaz and Saqib Mahmood were the top wicket-takers from Zalmi who picked up double wickets each.
Earlier, a disciplined combined effort from Qalandars blew away the experienced top order of Zalmi before Ravi Bopara played a decent inning for his fifty to reach the target of 140 runs after the completion of 20 overs.
Peshawar Zalmi were asked to bat first after Lahore Qalandars won the toss. The decision made by Sohail Akhtar gave an instant result after Shaheen Afridi picked up Imam Ul Haq on a golden duck on the very first ball of the innings.
The left-arm pacer swung the ball away from the batsman which he could not handle and nicked behind to Ben Dunk who took a straight forward catch.
Zalmi was further dented by Salman Raza who played the first match in the replacement of Dilbar Hussain who is having an injury. Kamran Akmal was the first to go after he flicked the ball straight into the hands of Agha Salman.
PZ lost another wicket on a golden duck and this time it was Haider Ali who nicked the away delivery to the wicketkeeper, who took a decent catch.
The all-rounder David Wiese hurt the Zalmi’s further after dismissing the well-settled Shoaib Malik who attempted a loose delivery that went a bit high and edged down to the keeper. The veteran all-rounder scored 26 off 24, leaving PZ on 46-4.
The British import, Ravi Bopara alongside Sherfane Rutherford built up the innings from there to end up the innings with a defendable total. The duo made 64 runs stand of 57 balls to stabilize their innings.
Shaheen Afridi then picked up Rutherford on a slow Yorker which he skied in the air straight into the hands of Agha Salman after scoring 26 runs off 27 balls.
Bopara finally brings up his fifty off 44 balls but soon after that, Shaheen Afridi removed him with a decent catch taken by Rashid Khan.
A late innings from Amad Butt 23* (11) was needed from his side to reach the target of 140 runs at the end of their allotted overs with the loss of 4 wickets.
Shaheen Afridi was the top wicket-taker from Qalandars who bowled a marvellous spell for just 14 runs while picking up three important wickets. Salman Mirza picked up two and David Wiese took a single wicket.