HBL PSL 2024: Shadab stars as United topple Zalmi to revive campaign

Published March 5, 2024
ISLAMABAD United captain Shadab Khan plays a stroke as Peshawar Zalmi wicket-keeper Mohammad Haris looks on during their HBL Pakistan Super League match at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Monday.—Tanveer Shahzad/White Star
ISLAMABAD United captain Shadab Khan plays a stroke as Peshawar Zalmi wicket-keeper Mohammad Haris looks on during their HBL Pakistan Super League match at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Monday.—Tanveer Shahzad/White Star

RAWALPINDI: It was freezing cold here at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Monday night. Although the capacity crowds had kept the stands dense enough to arrange for the much-needed warmth, it was Islamabad United, dressed in their bright red home colours, who turned on the heat on their homecoming.

The fire was lit by none other than their captain Shadab Khan, illuminating the night up both with the bat and the ball as United toppled Peshawar Zalmi by 29 runs in the HBL Pakistan Super League match, reigniting their hopes of making it to the play-offs as they rose to third in the standings.

The best Zalmi could offer was a firefighting effort, led by Aamer Jamal’s brilliant half century, a show of his resilience and ability after Shadab’s 80 off 51 balls had boosted Islamabad to 196-4. But Aamer fought all alone before becoming one of Shadab’s three victims

Zalmi were in trouble from the word go, as they lost their destructive opening pair of Babar Azam and Saim Ayub in the first over. While Babar was run out on the non-striker’s end thanks to an underarm throw by Alex Hales, Saim was undone by Naseem Shah’s pace as an inside edge off his gloves onto his thigh pad flew to forward-lunging Salman Ali Agha at first slip.

It got worse for Zalmi when first drop Mohammad Haris chipped Rumman Raees to Imad Wasim at short fine leg. And the Peshawar outfit were absolutely shattered when an athletic effort by wicket-keeper Azam Khan saw off Tom Kohler-Cadmore and an easy catch by Faheem Ashraf at square-leg dismissed Rovman Powell — both wickets coming in pacer Hunain Shah’s share.

By the end of the powerplay, the scorecard read 18-5.

A counterpunching effort by Aamer and Paul Walter, which saw the pair take on the Islamabad bowlers for a few boundaries and a six – battered by Aamer over square-leg off Faheem — took Zalmi to 59-5 at halfway stage.

Aamer launched Shadab down the ground and over deep midwicket for his second and third sixes in the 11th over, inducing hope of a mighty comeback within the Zalmi camp.

The right-hander brou­ght up his half century in 27 balls, when he dragged Naseem off his legs in the 13th over. Aamer clobbered Rum­man straight and long for another six and Walter drove the bowler in the same direction for four to add 19 runs to the total in the next over.

Needing 85 from the last six overs, Aamer and Walter had to go all out now. And throwing the bat and everything did not help as only 13 runs came in the next two overs, with latter giving his wicket away to Shadab.

As the equation got tighter with each ball, even two gorgeous sixes by Aamer (87 off 49) against Shadab did not help Zalmi’s fate as the latter went on to castle the former before destructing the stumps of the incoming Mohammad Zeeshan to effectively wrap up the proceedings.

It looked like a belter of a surface when Islamabad batted earlier, as they plundered the Peshawar bowlers with ease. Despite a shaky start, Shadab’s captain’s knock of 80 off 51 balls, which featured four fours and six sixes, put the home side on track. Later on, unbeaten cameos by Jordan Cox (26 off 20) and Azam Khan (29 off 14) further hurt Zalmi.

Better known for his exploits with the bat, Saim struck for Zalmi on the very first ball of the match, stunning Islamabad opener Hales with a carom ball that straightened from length.

The off-spinner then forced a skier off Hales’ opening partner Colin Munro for Babar to take an easy catch in the circle before a fightback of sorts by Shadab and Salman took the team to 46-2 by the end of the powerplay.

The fightback continued as Shadab clobbered pacer Aamer for perfectly-timed hit for six in the next over while Salman punished leg-spinner Arif Yaqoob for bowling short, scoring two boundaries in the ninth.

After Shadab had taken fast bowler Walter on for his third maximum, Salman danced down the ground to clear extra cover off Arif as Islamabad cruised to 88-2 at halfway stage.

The 65-run partnership, which had come off 44 balls, was broken when Salman’s (37 off 25) attempt to scoop pacer Salman Irshad saw the ball end up in the hands of wicket-keeper Haris after taking a feather edge off the right-hander’s bat.

Shadab kept going on, lifting Arif straight down the ground for another six and reached his half century in 34 balls, edging Luke Wood behind for a boundary in the 13th over.

Having driven Salman Irshad down the ground to start off his innings, the incoming Cox slashed at pacer Zeeshan’s bounce for a four and a six in the 14th before Shadab dispatched Aamer for two more sixes.

The former Pakistan vice-captain chipped a Salman Irshad yorker past short fine leg for four more to bring up Islamabad’s 150 in the 16th over, before finally falling in the next over when he holed Wood out to Saim at deep midwicket.

Azam Khan took it on from there, bludgeoning Salman Irshad and Aamer for three fours and a handsome, straight six off the latter. He drove Salman Irshad down the ground for another four as Islamabad posted a total more than enough to bring their campaign back on track.

SCOREBOARD

ISLAMABAD UNITED:

Batters & modes of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR

Alex Hales b Saim 0 1 0 0 0.00

Colin Munro c Babar b Saim 15 9 1 1 166.66

Salman Ali Agha c Haris b Salman 37 25 4 2 148.00

Shadab Khan c Saim b Wood 80 51 4 6 156.86

Jordan Cox not out 26 20 2 1 130.00

Azam Khan not out 29 14 4 1 207.14

EXTRAS (LB-7, W-2) 9

TOTAL (for four wickets, 20 overs) 196

DID NOT BAT: Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Hunain Shah, Naseem Shah, Rumman Raees

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-0 (Hales), 2-28 (Munro), 3-93 (Salman), 4-161 (Shadab)

BOWLING: Saim 2-0-15-2 (1w), Wood 4-0-34-1, Zeeshan 3-0-26-0, Aamer 3-0-35-0 (1w), Arif 3-0-32-0, Walter 1-0-10-0, Salman 4-0-37-1

PESHAWAR ZALMI:

Batters & modes of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR

Saim Ayub c Salman b Naseem 1 5 0 0 20.00

Babar Azam run out (Hales) 0 1 0 0 0.00

Mohammad Haris c Imad b Rumman 1 4 0 0 25.00

Tom Kohler-Cadmore c Azam b Hunain 12 14 2 0 85.71

Paul Walter c Cox b Shadab 33 29 5 0 113.79

Rovman Powell c Faheem b Hunain 0 3 0 0 0.00

Aamer Jamal b Shadab 87 49 8 6 177.55

Luke Wood c Azam b Rumman 2 3 0 0 66.66

Mohammad Zeeshan b Shadab 0 1 0 0 0.00

Arif Yaqoob not out 9 7 0 1 128.57

Salman Irshad not out 3 4 0 0 75.00

EXTRAS (LB-9, W-10) 19

TOTAL (for nine wickets, 20 overs) 167

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-1 (Babar), 2-1 (Saim), 3-3 (Haris), 4-18 (Kohler-Cadmore), 5-18 (Powell), 6-125 (Walter), 7-152 (Aamer), 8-152 (Zeeshan), 9-152 (Wood)

BOWLING: Naseem 4-1-26-1 (1w), Rumman 4-0-28-2 (2w), Faheem 3-0-31-0 (1w), Hunain 4-1-25-2 (1w), Shadab 4-0-41-3 (1w), Imad 1-0-7-0

RESULT: Islamabad United won by 29 runs.

PLAYER-OF-THE-MATCH: Shadab Khan

Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Elections in India
Updated 21 Apr, 2024

Elections in India

Independent accounts and spot reports are at variance with Modi-friendly TV anchors and they do not see an easy victory for the Indian premier.
IHC letter
21 Apr, 2024

IHC letter

THIS is a historic opportunity for the judiciary to define its institutional boundaries. It must not be squandered....
Olympic preparations
21 Apr, 2024

Olympic preparations

THIS past week marked the beginning of the 100-day countdown to the Paris Olympics, with the symbolic torch-lighting...
Isfahan strikes
Updated 20 Apr, 2024

Isfahan strikes

True de-escalation means Israel must start behaving like a normal state, not a rogue nation that threatens the entire region.
President’s speech
20 Apr, 2024

President’s speech

PRESIDENT Asif Ali Zardari seems to have managed to hit all the right notes in his address to the joint sitting of...
Karachi terror
20 Apr, 2024

Karachi terror

IS urban terrorism returning to Karachi? Yesterday’s deplorable suicide bombing attack on a van carrying five...