Tom Kohler-Cadmore’s Peshawar Zalmi got the better of Shadab Khan’s Islamabad United in what was a dress rehearsal ahead of the all important clash between the two sides in the Eliminator of the ongoing Pakistan Super League.
After electing to field first, Shadab’s Islamabad United got off to a good start as they dismissed the in-form Saim Ayub on the third ball of the game and put pressure on Zalmi up front. But an initial setback was not going to hold Zalmi’s batting line-up back. In the absence of Babar, Mohammad Haris stepped up to the task alongside Sri Lanka’s Bhanuka Rajapaksa and stitched a 117-run stand in just 58 balls.
Haris was the aggressor in the partnership as he scored at a mind-boggling rate of 202.56 and piled up 79 runs off just 39 balls, including seven boundaries and five sixes. Bhanuka played really well alongside him and scored a quick fire 41 off 25 deliveries at an impressive strike rate of 164.00. His knock included four fours and two sixes. Their combined effort propelled Zalmi to 179 for the loss of eight wickets in his 20 overs.
For United, Hasan Ali was the pick of all the bowlers as he picked up a three-wicket haul but was a tad expensive as he conceded 39 runs in his quota of four overs. He was well backed up by his skipper Shadab Khan who bagged a two-for himself but was not as effective as he would have preferred.
United’s chase started as a sorry state of affairs. They lost three of their top batters inside the powerplay and were struggling at 32 for the loss of three wickets in 5.1 overs. With Hassan Nawaz, Sohaib Maqsood and Alex Hales all back in the hutch the onus was on Colin Munro and Rahmanullah Gurbaz to steer them to the total. While both batters tried to do the same they perished in the process.
It was skipper Shadab and Faheem Ashraf who gave a ray of hope to United fans but that wasn’t enough at the end as United lost the contest by 13 runs.