By Jawad Hussain
KARACHI, March 11, 2019 (SNN247.com) – An all-around performance inspired Peshawar Zalmi to a big win over Karachi Kings by 61 runs in the last league match of the Pakistan Super League 2019 at National Stadium in Karachi on Monday.
Kamran Akmal and Imam-ul-Haq smashed half-centuries before Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Tymal Mills, and Sameen Gul sealed the deal with the ball to help Peshawar Zalmi finish the league stage as the top team on the points table.
Peshawar Zalmi won seven of their 10 matches to finish with 14 points and a net run-rate of 0.828. Quetta Gladiators finished second with 14 points and a net run-rate of 0.376. Defending champions Islamabad United won half of their matches to close the league stage with 10 points at a net run-rate of 0.127. Karachi Kings finished the initial stage of Pakistan Super League 2019 as the fourth qualifying team with 10 points at a net run-rate of -0.673.
Pakistan Super League 2019 Playoffs
The Playoffs stage of the Pakistan Super League 2019 will commence on March 13 with Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators locking horns for a place in the final in the qualifier at National Stadium in Karachi.
In the first eliminator on March 14, Karachi Kings will take on defending champions Islamabad United. The winner of the first eliminator will get a shot at a place in the final in the second eliminator against the loser of the qualifier. The second eliminator will be played on March 15. The title match of the fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League will be played at National Stadium Karachi (NSK) on March 17, 2019.
Kamran Akmal rediscovers lost form
It was a Kamran Akmal show. The former Pakistani wicket-keeper-batsman has made it a habit to find his form in the business end of the Pakistan Super League. Last year, he smashed a century right at the end of the tournament. This time, he hit a massive half-century to not only get his team to a match-winning total but also got his hands on the Player of the Match award.
Peshawar Zalmi got off to a monstrous start as openers Kamran Akmal (86 runs from 48 balls – 10 fours, 5 sixes) and Imam-ul-Haq (59 runs from 40 balls – 7 fours, 1 six) amassed a 137-run opening partnership. It mostly happens in the game of cricket that teams generally lose their direction a bit after such a gigantic opening partnership. The same happened with Peshawar Zalmi who were 0/137 at 13.1 overs and looked all set for a grand finish to post a total in excess of 230 runs.
Mohammad Amir pegs Zalmi back
However, Mohammad Amir (4-0-24-3) and Colin Munro (1-0-14-2) pegged Zalmi back with quick wickets. In the end, Darren Sammy’s men finished 7/203 from their 20 overs.
Karachi Kings Lose Early Wickets
Karachi Kings got off to a disastrous start. Their top-order was dismantled by Hasan Ali, who once again surged to the top position in the list of leading wicket-takers in the PSL 2019 with 21 scalps to his name. Babar Azam (13 runs from 9 balls – 2 fours), who became the third batsman to score 1,000 runs in the Pakistan Super League, failed to prolong his stay in the middle. Babar’s departure put an extra layer of pressure on Karachi Kings. Colin Munro (Duck) was
Colin Munro Proves His Worth Again
While Karachi Kings were losing their wickets like a house of cards, Colin Ingram (71 runs from 37 balls – 7 fours, 4 sixes) put a hefty price on his scalp. He smashed all the Zalmi bowlers all around the NSK. Skipper Imad Wasim (30 runs from 25 balls – 2 fours, 1 six) gave him company for a brief period but everyone at the stadium had already read the writing on the wall, which was not favorable for the home side.
Hasan Ali becomes Leading Wicket-Taker
Hasan Ali returned for a final burst and he got rid of the Kings’ tail-enders like a true champion. Karachi Kings eventually folded for 10/142 from 16.2 overs.
Hasan Ali (3.2-0-15-3), Sameen Gul (3-0-49-2), Tymal Mills (3-0-25-2), and Wahab Riaz (3-0-19-2) all grabbed wickets for Peshawar Zalmi in a match which had no real significance on the Playoffs qualification.
The PSL Playoffs Qualifying Teams will take a rest on March 12 (Tuesday) and return to action on Wednesday when the top two teams on the points table, i.e. Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators, will face off in the qualifier. The winner will storm into the PSL 2019 final while the loser will play the winner of the first eliminator between Karachi Kings and Islamabad United for the second place in the title match.