Yasir Shah finished with the figures of 4-7-4-1    AFP
Yasir Shah finished with the figures of 4-7-4-1 AFP (File Photo)

Yasir Shah s staggering figures of 4 for 7 went in vain as Peshawar Zalmi defeated Lahore Qalandars by 3 wickets in the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2017 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai. Chasing a paltry target of 60, the Zalmi s kept losing wickets at regular intervals. It was Eoin Morgan s 23 off 26 deliveries that inched his side to victory which looked very much unlikely at one point. Yasir rattled through the top and middle order of the Zalmi s to pull the match back in the Qalandar’s court, but as the Qalandars had very less runs put on board, his efforts proved futile in the end.

This game proved to be a low-scoring high-voltage thriller. It was expected that the Zalmi s would easily get past the target of 60 runs. But the Brendon McCullum-led Qalandars had different ideas. It was McCullum s shrewd captaincy that he induced spinners Sunil Narine and Yasir early in the game.

Sohail Tanvir drew the first blood to remove Dawid Malan (1) and 2 deliveries later Narine got the wicket of Mohammad Hafeez (3). It became very evident from Hafeez s wicket that the pitch had a lot to offer especially to spinners along with enough bounce to cause problems for the oncoming batsmen. The Zalmi had scored just 4 runs on the board when they lost both their openers.

But Morgan handled the pressure very well and avoided playing big shots. He brought all his international level of experience in play and kept on taking singles whenever any opportunity arose. It appeared like Morgan could take his team to safety with wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal at the other end. But Akmal (3) faced issues to even lay his bat on the ball and finally departed putting his team in jeopardy.

This was the time when Yasir unleashed himself and attacked the batsmen and bowled some unplayable deliveries. Shahid Afridi (13) tried to clear the ground with some big shots but he perished trying to hit Narine over the boundary fence. Sooner Yasir struck again and removed Sohaib Maqsood (0) and Morgan in a matter of 3 deliveries which changed the dimension of the game completely and if this was not enough he got the wicket of Darren Sammy (3). It appeared like the Qalandars were on the brink of pulling away a historic win but some sensible batting from tail-ender Chris Jordan (3*) and Wahab Riaz (5*) saw the Zalmi s crossing the winning border in 17 overs.

Earlier in the first innings, Sammy asked the Qalandars to bat and his bowlers responded to his call quickly to get wickets from the very first over. McCullum (0), Jason Roy (9), Umar Akmal (0) Grant Elliott (0) departed in no time putting their team in a precarious situation. It was Fakhar Zaman s 33 off 19 deliveries that pushed the Qalandars past the 50-run mark. For the Qalandar s only two batsmen i.e Zaman and wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan (11) scored in double digits.

The Zalmi bowlers performed collectively to restrict their opposition to 59. Hasan Ali took 3 wickets while Chris Jordan took 2. Apart from these two, Mohammad Asghar, Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz took 1 wicket each. Now having 3 games out of 2, the Peshawar Zalmi s have surged to the top of the points table while the Lahore Qalandars are at No. 3 position behind Quetta Gladiators.

Brief scores:

Lahore Qalandars 59 in 10.2 overs (Fakhar Zaman 33, Mohammad Rizwan 11; Hasan Ali 3 for 23, Chris Jordan 2 for 8) lost to Peshawar Zalmi 60 for 7 in 17 overs (Eoin Morgan 23, Shahid Afridi 13; Yasir Shah 4 for 7, Sunil Narine 2 for 16) by 3 wickets and 18 deliveries

Man of the Match: Yasir Shah