Afridi, Fakhar, Shafique heroics push Zalmi to 5th on table
Ace paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi’s fifer including the prized scalp of counterpart Babar Azam helped Lahore Qalandars beat Peshawar Zalmi by 40 runs and push the latter to the fifth spot on the points table in the 15th match of the HBL PSL 8 at the Gaddafi stadium here on Sunday night.
Earlier, Qalnadars batters provided a batting feast to the holiday crowd at the Gaddafi Stadium as the Lahore Qalandars amassed their best team total of 241-3 of the PSL and the third highest of the HBL PSL. Fakhar Zaman scored 96 runs off 45 balls laced with 10 6s and 3 boundaries and was adjudged Player of the Match for his swashbuckling knock. Abdullah Shafique hit five 4s and as many 6s for 75 off 41 balls - his personal best of PSL - while Sam Billings playing his first match of the PSL 8 played a cameo of 47 runs off 22 balls.
Wahab Riaz was the most successful bowler for the Zalmi but conceded over 11 runs per over for two scalps for 45 runs off the four overs while the other wicket was claimed by Rovman Powell who got the better of Fakhar Zaman in the 18th over. Salman Irshad was the costliest of the Zalmi bowlers and gave away 47 runs off his four wicketless overs. Rovman Powell conceded 37 runs for one wicket off two overs while Saad Masood gave away 40 runs off the three overs of off break bowling. Jimmy Neesham leaked 42 runs off three overs while Arshad Iqbal was the most economical bowler for the Zalmi and gave away 28 runs of his quota.
In a bid to chase 241 runs, Zalmi openers fell cheaply to the sheer pace of Shaheen Shah Afridi who got the better of Mohammad Harid 0 (2 balls) and Babar Azam 7 (6 balls) in the first 3 overs of the innings. Saim Ayub 51 (34) and Tom Kohler Cadmore 55 (23) partnered for 91 runs but fell onenafter the other. The overseas trio of Rajapaksa 24 (14), Powell 20 (15) and Neesham 12 (8) could not finish the game and fell in pursuit of the mammoth target of 242. Arshad Iqbal and Salman Irshad survived the last over from Hussain Talat to save the team from blushes of losing all wickets.
Zaman Khan bagged two wickets for 28 runs while Haris Rauf and Rashid Khan claimed one wicket each for 38 and 49 runs respectively. David Wiese and Sikander Raza bowled two wicketless overs each for 20 and 24 runs respectively.
In a PSL record for the highest sixes in a match, as many as 28 6s were hit during the Qalanads - Zalmi fixture.
By virtue to the third victory in four matches so far, Lahore Qalnadars have moved to the third spot on the points table behind Islamabad United (6 points of 4 matches) and Multan Sultans (8 points of 6 matches) while the Zalmi plummeted to the fifth place on the points table with 4 points for 5 matches.
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