Exceptional performance from opener Imam-ul-Haq and fast bowler Hasan Ali, Peshawar Zalmi registered a thumping 44-run win against Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League encounter at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
Skipper Sammy and Imam powered Zalmi to a fighting total of 153 runs after an initial stutter. Kings, in response, were restricted to 109-9.
Aamir Yameen tilted the game in Kings’ favour in the second over of the innings with a splendid in-swinging ball bowling out opener Kamran Akmal. Later, Sikandar Raza with two wickets in a maiden over left Zalmi baffled.
Imad Wasim picked Pollard’s wicket on duck.
The game was all going in Imad Wasim’s favour until a marvellous knock of 56 off 43 from Imam, with five boundaries and a six, gradually shifted the momentum.
Liam Dawson’s 43 off 33 complemented Imam’s innings. And later the blistering cameo of Darren Sammy with 24 runs off 10 balls prompted concerns from the Kings’ side.
Hasan Ali vindicated himself as the X factor between both the teams with his four-for 15 spell.
With his first-ball LBW to Livingstone and a run-out of Babar Azam in the very next over, the bowler virtually ended resistance from the Kings’ camp.
The Kings were 69/5 at the end of 13 overs in pursuit of the 154-run target set by Zalmi.
Skipper Imad Wasim and Mohammad Rizwan had little to offer for Wasim Akram and Mickey Arthur as the Zalmi bowling was too good to handle for them.
Imad Wasim and top-scorer Mohammad Rizwan were desperate to put runs on the scoreboard, but their 26- and 32-run contributions failed to take their team to the finishing line.
Hasan Ali shined for Zalmi in the bowling area, taking four wickets. Umaid Asif, Wahab Riaz and Kieron Pollard finished with a wicket each.
Later, the bowler had his last laugh with his wickets of skipper Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir.
During the match when Karachi fans were suffering this situation, Zalmi fans kept trolling them by chanting”So Gaye, So Gaye, Karachi Waaly So Gaye.”
This season is not proving to be a good one for Karachi Kings but still there are 7 matches left and Karachi might be making a come back in upcoming matches.