Peshawar Zalmi beat Karachi Kings by 55 runs

Peshawar Zalmi beat Karachi Kings by 55 runs.

Karachi Kings’ nightmarish season in the HBL Pakistan Super League 7 continued as the Babar Azam-led 2020 champions lost their sixth successive match of the season as Peshawar Zalmi kept alive hopes of a play-off berth with a 55-run win in tournament’s 19th match played at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Sunday afternoon.

The defeat has left Kings needing a miracle to reach the play-offs as they would not only need to win all of their remaining four matches, they would also need other results to go in their favour. Zalmi have now won three out of their seven matches and remain in the hunt for a play-off berth.
Put into bat, the Zalmi openers Hazratullah Zazai and debutant Mohammad Haris (player of the match) made full use of Kings profligacy in the field especially in the power play overs. Haris who hit a six off the first ball he faced in his HBL PSL career was dropped by Sahibzada Farhan. Zazai was let off by Farhan when he was on two.

The duo kept going after the bowling and earned rich rewards in their 97-run opening stand which ended on the last ball of the 10th over with Haris bowled by Nabi for a scintillating 49 off 27 balls (three fours, four sixes).

Zazai scored his third 50 in a mere four matches against the Kings, the left-hander was eventually dismissed by Qasim Akram who was appearing in his first match of the season for 52 off 42 balls. Zazai’s innings was laced with six fours and a six. Shoaib Malik (31 off 21, three fours) and Ben Cutting (26 off 15, four fours) made useful contributions to steer their side to 193 for six. Chris Jordan with three wickets for 41 was the most successful Kings bowler.

Kings despite needing 194 for a win made a sedate start. Opener Sharjeel Khan failed to get going and was dismissed for 14 off 16 balls. Babar added 60 for the second-wicket with Joe Clarke but both failed to score runs at the required rate against a disciplined and probing Zalmi attack. Clarke was bowled by Liam Livingstone for a run-a-ball 26 while Babar fell for 59 off 46 (six fours).

The rest of the Kings line-up looked hapless against the ever increasing asking rate. Zalmi bowlers maintained their stranglehold till the end as Kings finished their 20 overs at 138 for six. Salman Irshad and Wahab Riaz took two wickets each for Zalmi.

Player of the match Mohammad Haris: “I will give credit to my team management who offered me great support and encouragement and I played as they asked me to. My favorite wicketkeeper batters are Jos Butler and Mohammad Rizwan, we had realized that we were making some mistakes in power play overs and thank fully we made good use today. As a young player it can be challenging to make an impact in the HBL PSL so I would hope to make most of the opportunities that come my way.”

Peshawar Zalmi 193 for 6, 20 overs (Hazratullah Zazai 52, Mohammad Haris 49, Shoaib Malik 31; Chris Jordan 3-41)
Karachi Kings 138 for 6, 20 overs (Babar Azam 59, Joe Clarke 26; Wahab Riaz 2-26, Salman Irshad 2-24)

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