Amir, Imad heroics in vain as Zalmi beat Kings in PSL 8

RAWALPINDI: Peshawar Zalmi’s batters put on a collective effort to power their side to a massive total of 197/5 before the bowlers steered them to a 24-run victory over Karachi Kings in the 17th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season eight.

Set to chase a mammoth 198, the Kings fell 24 runs short as the side could raise 173/8 in their set of 20 overs despite magnificent half-centuries by Imad Wasim and Matthew Wade.

Earlier in the run chase, the Kings were off to a decent start as the new opening pair of Wade and debutant Adam Rossington added 40 runs for the first wicket.

Azmatullah Omarzai then struck in his first over to dent Kings’ solid start as he dismissed Rossington, who scored a brisk 15 off just eight deliveries.

Rossington’s dismissal sparked a frustrating collapse that resulted in the Kings slipping to 95/5 in the 12th over with Wade, who was hanging on with a gritty half-century, also getting out.

Wade scored 53 off 41 deliveries with the help of nine boundaries.

Kings’ skipper Imad and Cutting then attempted to anchor the run chase with a brief 17-run partnership but Omarzai removed the latter to put Zalmi in command. Cutting could score 15 off 13 balls.

The Kings then lost two more wickets in quick succession and consequently slipped to 122/8 in the 16th over.

Kings’ captain Imad, however, fought valiantly till the end with his gritty half-century but his efforts went in vain as his side fell 24 runs short.

Imad top-scored for the Kings with an unbeaten 57 runs off just 30 deliveries, smashing 10 boundaries and a six.

Aamer Jamal and Omarzai led the Zalmi’s bowling attack with three wickets each, while Mujeeb Ur Rehman made two scalps.

Put into bat first, Zalmi got off to a horrible start as the side lost three crucial wickets of Mohammad Haris (0), Babar Azam (0) and Saim Ayub (1) inside three overs; courtesy of a fiery opening spell from Mohammad Amir.

With their side in heaps of trouble, young wicketkeeper batter Haseebullah and Tom Kohler-Cadmore stitched a gritty fourth wicket partnership and scripted an astounding recovery as the pair raised 82 runs.

Haseebullah was the core aggressor of the crucial partnership and brought up his half-century in just 27 balls but Tabraiz Shamsi cut his celebrations short as he struck out the former in his second over to hand a much-needed breakthrough to the Kings.

The young left-handed batter scored 50 off 29 deliveries, hitting four boundaries and three sixes.

Following his dismissal, Rovman Powell wasted no time in settling down and carried on the recovery for his side with clean hitting and bolstered Zalmi for a big total with a 29-ball fifty.

Powell top-scored for the Zalmi with a brisk 34-ball 64 before falling to Amir in the 19th over. He smashed six boundaries and four sixes amid his brilliant knock.

Meanwhile, amid Powell and Haseebullah’s aggressive knocks, Kohler-Cadmore held his end firm and went on to score an anchoring 56-run knock in 45 deliveries, laced up with five boundaries and three sixes.

Left-arm pacer Amir led the Kings’ bowling attack with 4/26, while Shamsi struck out a batter.