Peshawar Zalmi survived Ravi Bopara’s quickfire knock to beat Karachi Kings by three runs in a thrilling finish in Sharjah yesterday.
A calculated last over by West Indies international Darren Sammy, which yielded two wickets, including a run out on the penultimate delivery, left Mohamed Amir at strike for the last ball with a boundary required for victory. Amir, however, couldn’t connect and Zalmi picked up the win.
Bopara smashed 67 of 32 balls in an innings that included five fours and four sixes to help revive his team after they slumped to 48 for 5 in 8.5 overs. Bopara was accompanied by Sohail Tanvir (23) to establish a crucial 61-run partnership for the seventh wicket.
Earlier, James Vince (44) had laid the foundation for Kings to chase the 183 set by Zalmi. None of the other Kings batsmen succeeded in putting up a show. Zalmi players kept it tight on the field and grabbed three sharp opportunities to run out Nauman Anwar, Imad Wasim and Usama Mir (in the final over).
Zalmi’s pace spearhead Wahab Riaz took two wickets, whereas Shaun Tait, skipper Shahid Afridi, Mohamed Asghar and Sammy claimed one wicket each.
After winning the toss and deciding to bat first, Zalmi all-rounders Afridi and Sammy scored quick-fire 17 and 18 runs respectively to help their side put up a mammoth 183 on the scoreboard.
Zalmi got off to a flying start with openers Mohamed Hafeez (59) and Tamim Iqbal (37) amassing 86 runs in the first ten overs. Wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, who came in to bat at number three, scored 30 runs off 20 balls, hitting two sixes and as many fours.
Kings bowlers looked helpless as Zalmi batters continued to press after their fine start.
Both sides made a change each with Aamer Yamin replacing left-arm paceman Junaid Khan for Zalmi while Nauman Anwar came back for Kings.
Hafeez, for his 35-ball 59 that included seven fours and three sixes, received the Man of the Match award.
Sarfraz leads Quetta to comfortable victory
Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed led the charge for Quetta Gladiators as they chased down a 118-run target to down Islamabad United by seven wickets yesterday.
Sarfraz, with his 39-ball 51, steadied the Gladiators ship, along with Ahmed Shehzad, who scored 41 off 31 deliveries, after United’s pace spearhead Andre Russell had picked up two wickets in quick succession.
Shehzad and Sarfraz’s 59-run stand for the third wicket put things back into Gladiators’ control. Mohamed Nawaz came down to bat at number five and scored an unbeaten 14 off 21 to establish a match-winning 45-run stand for the fourth wicket with his skipper.
Russell remained the most successful bowler for Islamabad United by claiming three wickets. After dismissing Luke Wright (five) and Kevin Pietersen (zero) off consecutive deliveries in the third over, he returned to send Shehzad back to the hut in the 10th over.
But by the time Shehzad departed, pressure was already off the Gladiators and they were sailing smoothly towards the victory.
Earlier, Gladiators took wickets at regular intervals to bowl out United for a meager 117 in 19.1 overs. Last match’s star Sharjeel Khan failed to impress against Gladiator’s slow pace attack. He was dismissed for two by left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar.
Shane Watson, however, continued his impressive run and smashed a quick-fire 40 off 28 balls. His innings included three fours and three sixes, but he was dismissed by Aizaz Cheema.
New Zealand international Grant Elliott, who was playing his first match for Gladiators, also chipped in by taking three crucial wickets.
After getting rid of United’s wicketkeeper batsman Brad Haddin and Sam Billings on consecutive deliveries, Elliott returned to dismiss Kamran Ghulam (nine).
Haddin was stumped by Gladiators skipper Sarfraz on 15, whereas Billings was trapped leg before on two. Elliott’s bowling figures read 4-0-25-3 and he was declared the Man of the Match.
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