Talat and Malik guide Peshawar Zalmi to five-wicket victory over Quetta Gladiators - GulfToday

Talat and Malik guide Peshawar Zalmi to five-wicket victory over Quetta Gladiators


Shoaib Malik plays a shot as Hussain Talat (R) watches during the Pakistan Super League match at the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi on Friday night. AFP

Hussain Talat’s gritty unbeaten fifty and captain Shoaib Malik’s knock of 48 (not out) helped Peshawar Zalmi rout Quetta Gladiators by five wickets in a Pakistan Super League match at the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi on Friday.

After winning the toss and opting to field, Zalmi restricted Gladiators to 190/4 in their allotted 20 overs. In reply, Zalmi achieved the target for the loss of five wickets with two balls to spare.

Opener Tom Kohler-Cadmore’s 22 off 16 balls followed by Yasir Khan’s blistering 30 from just 12 deliveries, peppered with four boundaries and two sixes, before Talat (52 from 29) and Malik’s 32-ball 48, was enough to provide a solid foundation for Zalmi in their chase.

Usman Qadir and Sameen Gul bagged two wickets each for Zalmi.

Earlier, after being put in to bat, 20-year-old Englishman Will Smeed made a stunning PSL debut with a blistering knock of 97 off 62 balls in Quetta’s formidable total of 190-4.

Smeed and Ahsan Ali, who made 73, benefited from sloppy Peshawar fielding and put on 155 runs for the opening wicket stand. Smeed was dropped on 37 at short third man while substitute fielder Imam-ul-Haq grassed an easy catch at deep mid-wicket soon after Ahsan had completed his half century.

"I am lucky to be out there and I am happy that I have made the most of this opportunity,” Smeed said. "It is a wonderful chance for me to improve my game against the slower bowlers in conditions that are quite different than from where I come. I’ll take a lot of confidence from this knock going forward.”

Leg-spinner Usman Qadir (2-20) claimed both his wickets in the space of four balls when Ahsan was caught on the edge of the boundary by West Indian Sherfane Rutherford and Ben Duckett top-edged a reverse sweep in the 16th over.

Fast bowler Sameen Gul (2-41) also picked up the wickets of Iftikhar Ahmed (8) and denied Smeed his maiden T20 hundred off the last ball as the youngster holed out at deep mid-wicket while going for his century. But Smeed showed his powerful hitting — especially on the on-side — by clobbering 11 fours and four sixes.

Australian James Faulkner (1-40) brought Quetta back in the game when he had Talat caught in the deep in the 17th over which left Peshawar needing 32 off the last three overs.

But Malik settled the game when he smashed two sixes and a four in Faulkner’s next over as Peshawar started its campaign with a commanding victory.

Meanwhile, the PCB has decided to refund match tickets bought for children under the age of 12 for the tournament Karachi-leg.

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) in its Jan.10 decision had limited crowd attendance to 25 per cent for the Karachi-leg matches and only allowed fully vaccinated individuals above the age of 12 years, whereas based on previous guidance of permitting 100% spectators PCB had initiated sale of tickets on Jan. 11.

Earlier, in the opening match, the defending champion Multan Sultans thumped Karachi Kings by seven wickets on Thursday.

Led by Mohammad Rizwan’s unbeaten 52 off 47 balls, Multan cruised to 126-3 with 10 balls to spare after South Africa leg-spinner Imran Tahir took 3-16 and had restricted Karachi to 124-5.

The spread of coronavirus has already seen several players like Wahab Riaz and Kamran Akmal of Peshawar Zalmi and Imad Wasim of Karachi going into isolation. Star allrounder Shahid Afridi was the latest to test positive on Thursday and was ruled out of his team Quetta Gladiators’ first four games.

Afridi, who was due to miss at least two games due to back pain, will remain in isolation for at least one week before he will be reintegrated with his team in a bio-secure bubble after getting a negative COVID-19 test.



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