Dubai. Shoaib Malik has announced that he is not only good for the oncoming ICC T20 World Cup in October 2020 but also the ICC 50-over World Cup in 2023, thanks to a match-winning 54 runs off just 27 balls that gave Peshawar Zalmi a 30-run victory over Quetta Gladiators in the 18th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Thursday night.
Thirty-eight-year-old Malik, while speaking to reporters before this match, had said that his fitness levels are so good that he could have been playing 50-over cricket even in 2023 when he would be 41.
Malik, who retired from 50-over cricket at the end of the 2019 World Cup, scored at a brisk pace for Peshawar in the match which was reduced to 15 overs a side. He hit eight boundaries and one six to give Peshawar a huge total of 170-6 in 15 overs. Opener Kamran Akmal too scored 23 runs while one-drop batsman Haider Ali hit 39. Lewis Gregory too hit a breezy 19 off 8 balls with two sixes. Pacer Mohammad Hasnain spell of 4-34 went in vain.
Chasing the target, Quetta were restricted to 140-7 in the 15 overs despite opener Jason Roy’s 45 runs. Left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz, who generated good pace took three wickets for 21 runs backed by medium pacer Rahat Ali with 2-34.
Malik, who is known as the ageless batsman of Pakistan cricket, had piled up 7,534 runs from 287 One Day Internationals and 2,321 runs from 113 T20 Internationals. Malik, who had retired from ODIs to give way for youngsters, said: “I realised that you can set an example by leaving even if you are fit and in form. The country’s interest is important.” This was Malik’s 60th T20 half-century and is just 200 runs short of the 10,000 run mark from the 383 T20 matches and is among the most wanted player for T20 franchises around the world.
Peshawar Zalmi bt Quetta Gladiators by 30 runs
Peshawar 170-6 in 15 overs (Kamaran Akmal 23, Shoaib Malik 54, Haider Ali 39, Mohammad Hasnain 4 for 34)
Quetta 140-7 in 15 overs (Jason Roy 45, Wahab Riaz 3 for 21, Rahat Ali 2 for 34)
Man of the match: Shoaib Malik.