Hussain, Malik star Zalmi’s thrilling win

PC: PCB Media

KARACHI: Incredible knocks by Hussain Talat and Shoaib Malik after Usman Qadir’s economical two for 20 started Peshawar Zalmi’s HBL Pakistan Super League 2022 campaign with a win over Quetta Gladiators.

Hussain’s 52 at a blistering strike rate of just under 180 set the platform for Zalmi to overhaul the daunting target of 191 with two balls spare. The left-hander struck five fours and two sixes, before Shoaib, who made unbeaten 48 off 32, finished the job in the last over. The experienced all-rounder struck four sixes and a four. He set the match for his side by smashing James Faulkner for two sixes and a four in the last three balls of the penultimate over.

Usman Qadir was outstanding with the ball, delivering 14 dots in his four overs. After getting smashed for 14 in his first over, Usman’s last three overs added only six runs to Gladiators’ total. He broke Gladiators’ dangerous opening stand in the 16th over as he accounted for Ahsan Ali and Ben Duckett in the same over.

This was Zalmi’s 10th win over Gladiators in the 19 matches these two sides have played in the tournament.

Will Smeed had a fantastic start to his HBL PSL career – recording the highest score for any batter on debut in the tournament. The right-handed batter from England smashed an electrifying 97 off 62, crunching 11 fours and four sixes. He along with Ahsan Ali, who smoked 73 off 46 (eight fours and three sixes), put 155 runs for the opening wicket before the latter was removed in the 16th over.

Such was the magnitude of his knock that despite being on the losing side, Smeed was named player of the match.

Zalmi’s Yasir Khan also had an impressive HBL PSL debut as the right-handed opener scored 30 off 12, smashing four fours and two sixes. It was the opening partnership of 43 from 21 balls between him and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (22 off 16) that provided Zalmi the impetus to overhaul the target.

Glaidators’ Mohammad Nawaz, when introduced into the attack in the fourth over, accounted for Yasir and in his next two overs removed Kohler-Cadmore and Haider Ali. He finished with three for 44.

Nawaz’s teammate Naseem Shah was the most economical from his side with his 3.4 overs giving away only 19 runs. Naseem’s tight lines and lengths, and subtle variations, allowed only six runs each in the 16th and 18th overs, keeping the contest alive till the end.

Will Smeed: It was a really good knock for me but the feeling would have been better if Quetta Gladiators would have won the match. I had a good run against Zalmi and I would try to use this start in upcoming matches as well. It’s a really good feeling to be playing in the HBL PSL and I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead.

Scores in brief:

Quetta Gladiators 190-4, 20 overs (Will Smeed 97, Ahsan Ali 73; Usman Qadir 2-20, Sameen Gul 2-41)

Peshawar Zalmi 191-5, 19.4 overs (Hussain Talat 52, Shoaib Malik 48 not out, Yasir Khan 30; Mohammad 3-44)

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