Abu Dhabi: Shaheen Shah Afridi triggered carnage with his brute pace but veteran batsman Misbah-ul-Haq and skipper Darren Sammy put up a match-winning partnership of 100 off 78 balls to turn the match over its head and steal an important four-wicket victory for Peshawar Zalmi against Lahore Qalandars at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
Misbah, with an unbeaten 59 off 55 balls, and Sammy (46 off 36 balls) took Peshawar out of troubled waters after being reduced to 20 for five and putting the team on the victory path. Peshawar, with this success, have qualified for the play-offs with 12 points from nine matches.
“It was great to be back from injury and in difficult situation you need to back yourself. Luck also favoured us and to win was special,” said a jubilant Misbah, who became the oldest batsman in history to score a T20 fifty — at the age of 44 years and 281 days.
“We didn’t have any good batsmen left after us and Sammy and I decided we should stay there till the 20 overs. We knew if we do that then we had a chance. We selected the bowlers whom we needed to target and we cashed on it. You need luck also in these kind of matches and it was on our side,” added Misbah, who was playing his second match of the tournament.
Lahore, with this loss, remain on six from eight matches and are behind Islamabad United and Karachi Kings, who are on eight points.
Set to chase a modest total of 125 for win, Peshawar were all at sea after Shaheen and Rahat Ali rocked the team early with wickets of Imam ul-Haq and Kamran Akmal. The duo were stunned as the ball whisked between their bat and pad to crash on to the stumps.
Peshawar slipped to 12 for three soon with Umar Amin falling prey to a slower one from Shaheen; Amin looping it to David Wiese at cover-point. Next ball, Liam Dawson chopped one on to his stumps and Shaheen was on a hat-trick and Peshawar on the mat at 12 for 4.
Now everything relied on veteran batsmen Misbah and Kieron Pollard to get their side out of trouble. However, the big West Indian also perished in similar fashion. He became the fourth batsman to be bowled and this time South African Wiese joined the party with the one that swung in sharply. From five down for 20, Misbah and skipper Sammy took 77 for 5 in 15 overs. Misbah then smashed two boundaries in Weise’s 16th over, which fetched 13 runs.
Shaheen immediately put breaks by giving just four runs in the next over and Lahore needed 31 off 18. Sammy then hammered two boundaries and a six to amass 18 runs in Harris Rauf’s 18th and they needed 13 off 12. Six came off Shaheen in the 19 and though Ten Doeschate bowled Sammy off the second ball of the final over, the latter was forced to leave the field with injury following a delivery that saw Misbah steal three. Sandeep Lamichhane was called to complete the over and Wahab Riaz stole a single to see Peshawar home with a ball to spare.
“I thought we did well to restrict them but then they responded well with the new ball. It was a typical Misbah innings and we pulled the strings in the end,” said a beaming Sammy.
Fakhar Zaman credited Sammy and Misbah for the success. “All credit to these two. Shaheen and David Wiese did well and we had to stop Shaheen after his two overs. We knew till the time Misbah bhai is there we will have to keep going after them. We tried but they took the match away. We fought hard, which is important,” he said.
Brief scores: Peshawar Zalmi beat Lahore Qalandars by four wickets. Lahore Qalandars 124 for 7 in 20 overs (Haris Sohail 43, Umair Masood 22, Tymal Mills 3 for 29, Sameen Gul 2 for 17) Peshawar Zalmi 125 for 6 in 19.5 overs (Misbah-ul-Haq not out 59, Darren Sammy 46, Shaheen Shah Afridi 3 for 17).