LAHORE, Pakistan, March 10, 2020 (SNN247.com) – Lahore Qalandars claimed yet another humdinger in their backyard on Tuesday evening to take the third spot in the Pakistan Super League 2020 (PSLV) at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Lahore Qalandars edged out an in-form Peshawar Zalmi by five wickets in the last-over nail-biting classic match of the PSL 2020. This was the fourth victory for Lahore Qalandars this season, the most by the side which previously ended up at the bottom rather consistently.
The victory was attributed to another great spell of fast bowling by Shaheen Shah Afridi, and brilliant half-centuries from Fakhar Zaman and Chris Lynn, before David Wiese delivered the knockout punch in the penultimate over of the match.
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PSL V | Points Table Drama
Peshawar Zalmi also had a number of key performances to celebrate. Carlos Brathwaite captured three crucial wickets whereas young Haider Ali became the youngest batsman to smash a half-century in the Pakistan Super League. Veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik also continued his great run with the bat with yet another half-century to his name.
Peshawar Zalmi now have nine points from as many matches and they are still comfortably placed than the four other teams, including Islamabad United, Karachi Kings, and Quetta Gladiators. Their last match will be against the chart leaders Multan Sultan on March 13 in Karachi. A victory in this match would see them go through to the PSL 5 Playoffs. However, if they failed to end up on the victorious side, they will largely rely on the outcome of the other matches.
Lahore Qalandars now have eight points from as many matches and need only one more victory to join Multan Sultans into the knockout stage of the PSL V. Their last two matches are against Karachi Kings on March 12 and Multan Sultans on March 15.
Karachi Kings have three matches to play against Lahore Qalandars, Islamabad United, and Quetta Gladiators. They need to win at least two of these three matches to stay powerful in the contention. Islamabad United have only one game left against Karachi Kings and they will have to win this match to ensure their qualification into the knockouts.
Defending champions Quetta Gladiators look the team with the weakest chance of making into PSL V Playoffs as they have six points from eight matches. Their last two matches are against Multan Sultans and Karachi Kings. Multan Sultans have already qualified for the Playoffs whereas Karachi Kings will look to win their last match to stay in the contention.
Shaheen Afridi strikes early for Lahore Qalandars
The match between Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi started with a great sense of competition and willingness to go the distance by both sides. Shaheen Afridi got rid of Tom Banton (Golden Duck) whereas Samit Patel removed Liam Livingstone (4 off 5 – 1 four). Kamran Akmal (12 off 8 – 1 four, 1 six) soon followed the suit to fall prey to Patel’s intriguing bowling. Peshawar Zalmi started to look in all sorts of problems at 3/24 after 3.2 overs.
Shoaib Malik, Haider Ali save the day for Zalmi
Before it could turn into a dark nightmare, it was Shoaib Malik (62 off 43 – 7 fours, 2 sixes) and young Haider Ali (69 off 43 – 4 fours, 4 sixes) launched a counterattack. They targeted every bowler and dispatched to the boundary as the scoring rate surged significantly for the visitors. Haider Ali became the youngest cricketer to score a PSL half-century. He did it at the age of 19 years and 159 days. The right-hander reached his maiden PSL fifty in just 31 balls. Shoaib Malik anchored the innings and left the bashing job with the youngster. However, he also took the long route when needed. Together they smashed 116 runs in the fourth-wicket partnership which set the foundation of a massive total for Peshawar Zalmi.
A late flurry of wickets couldn’t stop Peshawar Zalmi from finishing strong as Lewis Gregory (8 off 4 – 1 six), Carlos Brathwaite (16* off 11 – 2 fours), and Hasan Ali (7 off 3 – 1 four) used the long handle to a great effect. Peshawar Zalmi finished with a formidable total of 7/187 from their 20 overs.
Shaheen Shah Afridi (4-0-28-3) was the pick of the bowlers for Lahore Qalandars as the southpaw became the second-highest wicket-taker in the fifth edition of the Pakistan Super League after Mohammad Hasnain.
Samit Patel (4-0-37-2), Dilbar Hussain (4-0-38-1), and David Wiese (3-0-31-1) also chipped in with key wickets at regular intervals for the home side.
Fakhar Zaman Finally Strikes Form
Lahore Qalandars have been enjoying a fine batting form in the last few games. The confidence did a world of good to their non-performing batsmen in this particular game. Player of the Match Fakhar Zaman (63 off 46 – 4 fours, 3 sixes), who has been going through a bad patch with the willow, scored his first half-century of this year’s edition. He was joined by Chris Lynn (59 off 32 – 6 fours, 3 sixes), who also rediscovered his magical touch with the bat. Together they played the balls on merit and dispatched all bowlers to across the boundary at regular intervals. After skipper Sohail Akhtar’s (21 off 19 – 3 fours) early departure, the pair added 96 crucial runs that set the tone of the run-chase.
Ben Dunk (7 off 5 – 1 four) and Mohammad Hafeez (4 off 4) had an off-color night. However, Samit Patel (11 off 7 – 2 fours) and David Wiese (17* off 6 – 2 sixes) made sure to get their team over the line with one ball to spare.
Carlos Brathwaite (2.5-0-28-3) and Wahab Riaz (4-0-27-1) were the only Zalmi bowlers who were able to make some impression in front of yet another full house at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
PSL 5 | Next Fixture
In the next fixture of PSL 5 on Wednesday, Multan Sultans will be up against Quetta Gladiators in Lahore at 7:00 p.m. Quetta are now in a must-win situation and any loss would push them out of the top-four finish in the league stage.