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Pakistan Super League 2018: Peshawar Zalmi beat Islamabad United in battle of former champions

Defending champions Peshawar Zalmi bounced back in style after making a losing start to their Pakistan Super League 2018 campaign. In a battle of former champions of PSL, Peshawar outclassed Islamabad United by 34 runs

cricket Updated: Feb 25, 2018 16:45 IST
Peshawar Zalmi players celebrate after defeating Islamabad United in a Pakistan Super League.(Twitter)

An all-round show from defending champions Peshwar Zalmi saw them cruise to a 34-run win against Islamabad United in a Pakistan Super League 2018 league match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.

Thanks to their top-order, Peshawar posted 176/6 and then their bowlers restricted Islamabad to 142/9 in 20 overs.

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Islamabad captain Rumman Raees opted to field first and Kamran Akmal proved his decision wrong as he went on to smash their bowlers all over the park. He was in breathtaking touch, punishing pacers and spinners with equal intensity. Mohammad Sami leaked three fours in his first two overs, all to Kamran. But the Pakistan international saved special treatment for West Indian allrounder Andre Russell off whom he peeled off 21 runs in an over including two fours and two sixes. He reached his half-century off just 30 deliveries with a six off leggie Shadab Khan in the 7th over.

Samit Patel put an end to his assault but not before Kamran had struck 53 off 32 with seven fours and three sixes. The stand for the opening wicket was worth 69 runs. But the runs kept flowing for Peshawar as Tamim Iqbal (39) and Dwayne Smith (30) extended Kamran’s good work to add 52 runs between them. Mohammed Hafeez then hit an unbeaten 22-ball 30 to take the score to 176/6 in 20 overs. Faheem Ashraf was the pick of the bowlers taking 2/37.

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Umaid Asif (4/23) then wiped Islamabad’s top order, taking four wickets in his first three overs, reducing them to 25/4 in four overs. Then 19-year-old spinner Ibtisam Sheikh all but ended their hopes of a revival with figures of 3/20.

Chadwick Walton began Islamabad’s chase in an aggressive manner, hitting a six and four but paceman Asif sent him back to the dugout as the West Indian miscued one to be caught for 11 in the second over of the chase. In the same over, Luke Ronchi top-edged to depart for 3, leaving Islamabad at 16/2.

The 33-year-old Asif then made it 22/3 and 25/4 in his subsequent over leaving the former champions tottering. They never recovered from the early blows and at one stage, looked in danger of failing to score even 100 when Samit Patel (23) was dismissed with the scorecard reading a sorry 78/8.

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Faheem Ashraf, who was dropped on 2 by Tamim Iqbal denying Asif a five-wicket haul, launched a late charge clattering three fours in an over of Chris Jordan taking the score past 100-run mark. But it was too late with his team running out of overs. He, though hit a six off the penultimate delivery of the final over to reach a 26-ball fifty before hitting another four off the last as Peshawar pocketed two points.

Brief Scores: Peshawar Zalmi 176/6 (Karman Akmal 53, Tamim Iqbal 39; Faheem Ashraf 2/37) beat Islamabad United 142/9 (Faheem Ashraf 54*; Umaid Asif 4/23, Ibtisam Sheikh 3/20) by 34 runs

First Published: Feb 25, 2018 13:52 IST