Lahore Qalandars, 2020 runners-up, got off to a winning start with a four-wicket victory against Peshawar Zalmi in the second match of HBL PSL 6 at Karachi’s National Stadium on Sunday. Qalandars, who had never won their opening match in any of the five previous editions, made history in the 19th over.
Qalandars chased down the 141-run target for the loss of six wickets with nine balls to spare. Mohammad Hafeez anchored the Qalandars innings with an unbeaten 33 off 26 balls, hitting five fours.
Rashid Khan, Qalandars’ platinum pick, blasted his way to 27 as he smashed three fours and a six, which sealed the match, in his undefeated 15-ball knock.
Both batsmen contributed an unbroken 34-run partnership for the seventh-wicket. Before the two came together, Qalandars found themselves in a spot of bother following back-to-back dismissals of Samit Patel (eight off 11 balls) and David Weise in the 16th over as Saqib Mahmood, who returned two for 22, bowled the former and trapped the latter in front of stumps.
Zalmi captain Wahab Riaz also accounted for two batsmen as he finished with the figures of two for 30.
Qalandars were provided an excellent start by Shaheen Shah Afridi. The left-arm quick induced a leading edge off Imam-ul-Haq on the first ball of the match with a delivery that shaped away from the left-handed batsman to provide the first breakthrough.
Shaheen bowled impeccable lengths, denying the opposition batsman any opportunities to score against him, and finished with three for 14 in four overs, which bagged him the player-of-the-match award.
Zalmi’s troubles compounded with the introduction of Rashid, who bowled economical spell of 4-0-14-0 in his HBL PSL debut.
Peshawar were reeling at four for 46 in the eighth over, before Ravi Bopara and Sherfane Rutherford got together and stitched a valuable 64 runs for the fifth-wicket. Bopara, who featured for Multan Sultans in the fifth edition, top-scored with a 44-ball 50. His innings included six boundaries.
Rutherford, picked by Zalmi in the diamond category, scored 26 off 27. His first of two sixes, was the first of the match, hit off David Wiese’s bowling in the 13th over.
After the departure of both batsmen, Amad Butt, batting at number seven, contributed a quickfire unbeaten 23 off 11 balls. His two maximums were hit in the 20th over, which helped the side to a decent finish at 140 for six.
Qalandars’ Mohammad Salman Mirza, making his debut in the HBL PSL after he was drafted in the side as a replacement for injured Dilbar Hussain, ended-up with two for 35. He accounted for Pakistan internationals Kamran Akmal (five off 10) and Haider Ali (first-ball duck), in his opening spell.
Scores in brief
Lahore Qalandars beat Peshawar Zalmi by four wickets
Peshawar Zalmi 140-6, 20 overs (Ravi Bopara 50, Shoaib Malik 26, Sherfane Rutherford 26, Amad Butt 23 not out; Shaheen Shah Afridi 3-14, Mohammad Salman Mirza 2-35)
Lahore Qalandars 143-6, 18.3 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 33 not out, Rashid Khan 27 not out, Ben Dunk 22; Saqib Mahmood 2-22, Wahab Riaz 2-30)
Player-of-the-match Shaheen Shah Afridi (Lahore Qalandars)