HBL Pakistan Super League: Shoaib Malik stars as Zalmi down Kings

Published February 5, 2022
KARACHI: Peshawar Zalmi opener Hazratullah Zazai plays a shot during the HBL Pakistan Super League match against Karachi Kings at the National Stadium on Friday.—Online
KARACHI: Peshawar Zalmi opener Hazratullah Zazai plays a shot during the HBL Pakistan Super League match against Karachi Kings at the National Stadium on Friday.—Online

KARACHI: The runs must have bolstered Babar Azam’s already-impressive Twenty20 average but they couldn’t inspire Karachi Kings to their first victory in the ongoing edition of the HBL Pakistan Super League.

In an unbeaten 90 off 63 balls, Babar played 17 dots as the Kings fell nine runs short to Peshawar Zalmi here at the National Stadium on Friday.

Babar’s Pakistan team-mate Shoaib Malik’s innings, made the difference though. His unbeaten 52 powered Zalmi to 173-4 and he returned to dismiss Kings dangerman Sharjeel Khan in the first over of their innings.

The evergreen Malik also took two excellent catches with emerging pacer Mohammad Umar’s 3-22 denting Kings’ chase.

After Sharjeel went for a duck, giving a simple catch to Haider Ali at point, Sahibzada Farhan became Umar’s first victim when he found Ben Cutting at mid-on to leave Kings reeling at 9-2.

Ian Cockbain, making his PSL debut, hit the first boundary for Kings, driving Umar on the up through the off-side. He followed that with another boundary in Umar’s next over before Babar, who opened with Sharjeel, smashed Salman Irshad for three fours through the leg-side in the fifth over.

Trying to help his side recover, Kings skipper Babar then took on Zalmi counterpart Wahab Riaz in the next over, hitting two more boundaries through the off-side as Karachi posted 43 in the powerplay.

The runs kept coming for both Babar and Cockbain in their 74-run partnershim but just when the Kings were starting to feel comfortable, Usman Qadir made the breakthrough.

The leg-spinner induced a leading edge from Cockbain (31) as the Englishman tried to nudge it through the leg-side with Malik taking a brilliant catch to complete the dismissal.

Mohammad Nabi swept Talat for Karachi’s first boundary after Cock­bain’s departure in the 13th but ended up finding Malik at deep midwicket with the Kings needing 70 to win from 44 balls.

At the start of the 18th, Umar hit the timber to send Aamer Yamin (20 off 15), back to the pavilion before making Imad Wasim hole it out to Wahab at long on for none.

With Babar at the crease, the Kings still held faint hopes. But with the asking rate climbing, it proved too much for the Pakistan captain.

The only six of Babar’s innings came off Zalmi counterpart when Karachi needed 36 to win off eight deliveries before hitting for Hussain Talat for three boundaries in the final over but all that went in vain.

The same couldn’t be said about Malik’s effort.

Malik came into bat nearly halfway through the innings after Zalmi openers Hazratullah Zazai (41 off 27) and Kamran Akmal (21 off 19) lost their wickets in quick succession after combining for 53 off 37 for the first wicket.

The 39-year-old launched Imad for two massive sixes down the ground in the 11th over before losing his first partner when Haider Ali (16 off 21) holed out to Lewis Gregory at long-on off Aamer in the 13th.

After Ben Cutting arrived at the crease, Zalmi’s next boundary came after 11 balls, as Malik glanced Yamin fine off his pads and the batters waited for 10 more balls before Malik smashed Mohammad Imran for two fours in the 17th.

Cutting smashed Imran for a maximum in the 19th over after Malik had added two more boundaries before the Australian departed on the first ball of the last over after scoring 24 off 22.

Sherfane Rutherford, arriving at number six, clobbered Zalmi’s last six off Umaid Asif.

Earlier, Zazai got Zalmi off the mark with a four on the last ball of the first over as Imad led the Kings’ attack.

Aamer restricted the Zalmi opener to only two runs in the second over before Zazai squeezed Imran for his second four.

The gearshift for Zalmi happened when Aamer returned to concede 21 runs in the fourth over as Zazai launched consecutive sixes against him on the first two balls before hitting two more boundaries.

Kamran hit his first boundary when he tucked away Imran’s wayward delivery down the leg-side in the next over before Zazai departed when he tried to take on Umaid for a maximum after hitting a boundary.

The Afghan left-hander hit the ball high in the air for Babar to take an easy catch right after a boundary by the left-hander and an overthrow helped Zalmi reach 50 runs.

Kamran departed in the tenth when he found Nabi at deep point off Umaid, setting the stage for Malik to take over.

Scoreboard

PESHAWAR ZALMI:

Batsmen & mode of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR

Hazratullah Zazai c Babar b Umaid 41 27 6 2 151.85

Kamran Akmal c Nabi b Umaid 21 19 2 0 110.52

Haider Ali c Gregory b Aamer 16 21 0 0 76.19

Shoaib Malik not out 52 28 5 2 185.71

Ben Cutting c Sharjeel b Umaid 24 22 0 1 109.09

Sherfane Rutherford not out 9 4 0 1 225.00

EXTRAS (B-4, LB-2, W-3, NB-1) 10

TOTAL (for four wickets, 20 overs) 173

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-53 (Zazai), 2-74 (Kamran), 3-103 (Haider), 4-162 (Cutting).

DID NOT BAT: Hussain Talat, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Umar, Usman Qadir, Salman Irshad.

BOWLING: Imad 4-0-30-0, Aamer 4-0-36-1 (2w), Imran 4-0-40-0 (1nb), Umaid (1w), Nabi 3-0-15-0, Gregory 1-0-10-0.

KARACHI KINGS:

Batsmen & mode of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR

Babar Azam not out 90 63 12 1 142.85 Sharjeel Khan c Haider b Malik 0 1 0 0 0.00

Sahibzada Farhan c Cutting b Umar 0 4 0 0 0.00

Ian Cockbain c Malik b Usman Qadir 31 19 5 0 163.15

Mohammad Nabi c Malik b Hussain 10 10 1 0 100.00

Aamer Yamin b Umar 20 15 0 2 133.33

Imad Wasim c Wahab b Umar 0 1 0 0 0.00

Lewis Gregory not out 8 6 1 0 133.33

EXTRAS (B-1, W-4) 5

TOTAL (for six wickets, 20 overs) 164

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-2 (Sharjeel), 2-3 (Farhan), 3-77 (Cockbain). 4-95 (Nabi), 5-128 (Aamer), 6-128 (Imad),

DID NOT BAT: Mohammad Taha, Umaid Asif, Mohammad Imran.

BOWLING: Malik 1-0-2-1 (1w), Umar 4-0-22-3, Salman 4-0-24-0, Wahab

4-0-43-0 (1w), Hussain 4-0-43-1 (2w), Usman 3-0-29-1.

RESULT: Peshawar Zalmi won by nine runs.

UMPIRES: Aleem Dar and Shozab Raza (both Pakistan)

TV UMPIRE: Ahsan Raza (Pakistan)

MATCH REFEREE: Iftikhar Ahmed (Pakistan)

Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2022

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