LAHORE: An economical spell by left-arm orthodox Muhammad Asghar and a quick-fire knock of 40 by Kamran Akmal inspired Peshawar Zalmi to clinch the Pakistan Super League title. They crushed a hapless Quetta Gladiators in a one-sided final by 58 runs before a packed to capacity crowd at the Gaddafi Stadium on Sunday night.
Set to chase a gettable target of 149 in 20 overs, the Gladiators never looked like achieving it after crashing to 37-5. They were eventually all out for a paltry 90 in 16.3 overs to suffer a big defeat.
The absence of four foreign cricketers — Kevin Pietersen, Riley Rossouw, Tymal Mills and Luke Wright — over security fears, reduced the Gladiators to a mediocre outfit.
The Gladiators made a poor start, in contrast to Zalmi, as in no time they lost five top batsmen, including in form opener Ahmad Shahzad and skipper Sarfraz Ahmad, with just 37 on the board in 7.2 overs. They lost opener M.N. van Wyk of South Africa, who replaced one of the foreign players, when he was run out for one. Another replacement, Bangladesh’s Anamul Haq, also fell cheaply to spinner Muhammad Asghar for three runs. Quetta Gladiators were two down in 3.1 overs.
And when Ahmad Shahzad was the third batsman dismissed with the score at 3, the modest target started looking menacing.
More shocks were in store for the Gladiators as at 29, their skipper Sarfraz also departed after contributing 22 off 11 balls. He was stumped by Kamran Akmal off Hafeez. He slammed five fours.
After the addition of eight runs, Saad Nasim went back to the pavilion for just four runs, with the total at 37-5. He was caught by Iftikhar Ahmad off pacer Wahab Riaz.
S. M. Ervine and Anwar Ali put on 35 for the sixth wicket. But two quick dismissals, first Ervine (24 off 19 balls) and then Mohammad Nawaz for a first-ball duck, further dampened Quetta’s prospects. Anwar’s fight ended when he was out for a laboured 20 off as many as 24 balls.
After his departure, it took little time for the Gladiators’ challenge to end in an anti-climax as they were all out for 90 in 16.3 overs.
Asghar was the Zalmis’ most successful bowler, claiming three for 16 in four overs, while Hasan, Hafeez, Jordan, and Wahab all took one wicket each.
Zalmi played the final without Shahid Afridi, who had injured his hand in the last match in Dubai to have 12 stitches.
Zalmi deserved appreciation for an off-the-field achievement, too. They were able to persuade all their foreign players to shed security fears for once and fly to Lahore.
Earlier, Kamran Akmal and Dawid Malan provided a stormy start to Peshawar Zalmi after they were asked to bat first by Quetta Gladiators’ captain Sarfraz Ahmad. But two mini-collapses restricted Zalmi to a gettable total of 148 for six in 20 overs.
Kamran and Malan notched up 42 runs in just 4.4 overs, with Kamran contributing the lion’s share. He was in aggressive mood, hitting three fours in the first over by left-arm orthodox Zulfiqar Babar. Kamran, who had hit a blistering century in the last match against Karachi Kings to take his team to the final, smashed a boundary to medium fast bowler Rayad Emrit in the third over and dispatched spinner Muhammad Nawaz for a boundary in the next over.
But Malan, who had hit pacer Anwar Ali, the most expensive bowler conceding 43 runs in four overs, for the first six of the final and then earned a boundary in the second over, finally was clean bowled by Emrit for 17 with the total at 42 in 4.4 overs.
Kamran and Marlon Sameuls took the total to 82, but at that point the first collapse reduced them to 86 for four in the 12th over.
First Kamran was adjudged leg before wicket off left-arm orthodox Hasan Khan for a 32-ball 40, cracking six fours and one boundary. Then Samuels fell prey to slow bowler Nawaz for 19, laced with two fours and one six.
And when Khushdil Shah was brilliantly stumped by Sarfraz off Hasan, Zalmi’s hopes of posting an unassailable target were dashed.
Muhammad Hafeez and Iftikhar Ahmad tried to stabilise the innings. The Zalmis reached the 100-run mark in the 14th over. But both were out on two consecutive balls by Emrit, making the situation alarming for Zalmi with the total being 112-6 in the 17th over.
First Emrit had Hafeez caught by placing Nawaz in the long-on area. He scored 12 off 13 balls with one boundary. The next ball saw Iftikhar adjudged leg before wicket for 14 off 21 deliveries. Then captain Darren Sammy, whose decision to hold himself back was debatable, tried his best to guide his side to a fighting total with his breezy 11-ball 28 runs knock. He hit three sixes and a four. He cracked a six and a four off Emrit in the 19th over.
In the final over, Sammy smashed pacer Anwar Ali for two big sixes at long-on to set a target of 149.
D.J. Malan b Emrit 17
Kamran Akmal lbw b Hassaan 40
M.N. Samuels b Nawaz 19
Mohammad Hafeez c Nawaz b Emrit 12
Khushdil Shah st Sarfraz b Hassaan 1
Iftikhar Ahmed lbw b Emrit 14
D.J.G. Sammy not out 28
C.J. Jordan not out 8
EXTRAS (B-4, W-5) 9
TOTAL (for six wkts, 20 overs) 148
FALL OF WKTS: 1-42, 2-82, 3-82, 4-86, 5-112, 6-112.
DID NOT BAT: Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Asghar.
BOWLING: Zulfiqar Babar 4-0-21-0; Anwar Ali 4-0-43-0 (3w); Emrit 4-0-31-3; Mohammad Nawaz 4-0-15-1 (1w); Hassaan Khan 4-0-34-2 (1w).
M.N van Wyk run out 1
Ahmed Shehzad c Khushdil b Hasan 1
Anamul Haque c Jordan b Asghar 3
Sarfraz Ahmed st Kamran b Hafeez 22
S.M. Ervine b Asghar 24
Saad Nasim c Iftikhar b Wahab 4
Anwar Ali c Iftikhar b Jordan 20
Mohammad Nawaz st Kamran b Asghar 0
R.R. Emrit not out 6
Hassan Khan c Sammy b Wahab 4
Zulfiqar Babar b Hasan 1
EXTRAS (LB-3, W-1) 4
TOTAL (all out, 16.3 overs) 90
FALL OF WKTS: 1-1, 2-5, 3-13, 4-29, 5-37, 6-72, 7-72, 8-81, 9-88.
BOWLING: Hasan Ali 3.2-0-13-1; Mohammad Asghar 4-0-16-3; Mohammad Hafeez 2-0-21-1; Jordan 3-0-16-1; Wahab Riaz 3-0-13-2 (1w); Sammy 1-0-8-0.
RESULT: Peshawar Zalmi won by 58 runs.
UMPIRES: Ahsan Raza (Pakistan) and R.E.J. Martinesz (Sri Lanka).
TV UMPIRE: Shozab Raza (Pakistan).
MATCH REFEREE: R.S. Mahanama (Sri Lanka).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Kamran Akmal.
MAN-OF-THE-Tournament: Kamran Akmal.
Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2017