Dubai: Peshawar Zalmi emerged as the new champions of Pakistan Super League (PSL) trouncing Quetta Gladiators by 58 runs at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Though Peshawar could post only a moderate 148 for 6 in 20 overs, through a spirited display of tight bowling and brilliant fielding, they crushed the hopes of Quetta who were the last year’s runner up.
Peshawar’s left-arm spinner Mohammad Asghar produced a deadly spell of 3 for 16 backed by Wahab Riaz (2 for 13) and Hasan Ali (2 for 13) to bowl out Quetta for a mere 90 runs in 16.3 overs.
Quetta won the toss and continued the trend in this tournament of fielding first. Quetta fielded Morne van Wyk, Anamul Haque Bijoy, Sean Ervive, Rayad Emrit as their foreign players while Peshwar’s foreign stars were skipper Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels, Chris Jordan, and Dawid Malan. In place of the injured Shahid Afridi, Peshawar picked Iftikhar Ahmed.
Big cricket with international players were welcomed with fireworks as the team’s lined up for national anthem in front of a packed stadium When Peshawar’s inform opener Kamran Akmal hit Zulfiqar Babar for two consecutive boundaries, the cheers from the fans reached its peak.
Three boundaries came off the first over and the opening pair went on to put 42 runs in 4.4 overs when opener Malan played on West Indies pacer Emrit on to his stump for 17. Samuels and Akmal took the score to 82 in ten overs when left-arm spinner Hasan Khan trapped Akmal leg before for 40 while attempting to sweep.
In the 11th over, spinner Mohammad Nawaz beat Samuels on 19 with the turn to hit the middle stump. When Hasan had Kushdil Shah stumped by wicketkeeper and captain Sarfraz Ahmad for 1, Peshawar slipped from 82 for 1 to 86 for 4.
Mohammad Hafeez and Iftikhar took Peshawar past the 100 run mark in the 15th over. In the last five overs they lost the wickets of Hafeez for Iftikar for 14 to Emrit but Sammy and Jordan took 18 runs of Emrit’s 19th over and 15 runs off the last over from Anwar Ali. They put on 36 runs in 3.2 over with Sammy unbeaten on 28 from 11 balls with three sixes and one boundary.
Chasing the moderate total, Quetta lost Morne van Wyk who got run out off the third ball of the second over. Next man Amanul Haque on 2 was dropped by Sammy at slips off Hasan Ali in the third over but Asghar got him caught and bowled for 3.
Hasan also had opener Ahmad Shehzad top edge to Kushdil at mid-wicket for 1. To make matters worse, skipper Sarfraz got stumped by wicketkeeper Akmal off Hafeez for 22.
When Wahab Riaz had Saad Nazim caught at long on by Iftikhar half the side were back in the pavilion for 37 in 7.2 overs. In the 13th over, Mohammad Asghar struck twice to dismiss Sean Ervine (24) and Mohammad Nawaz off successive balls to take firm grip on the match.
Peshawar Zalmi bt Quetta Gladiator by 58 runs. Peshawar Zalmi 148 for 6 in 20 overs (Kamaran Akmal 40, Darren Sammy 28n.o, Rayad Emrit 3 for 31, Hasan Khan 2 for 34) Quetta Gladiators 90 in 16.3 overs (Sarfraz Ahmad 22, Sean Ervine 24, Anwar Ali 20, Mohammad Asghar 3 for 16, Wahab Riaz 2 for 13, Hasan Ali 2 for 13).