Rashid Khan grabbed his first-ever wicket haul for a T20 franchise to help Lahore Qalandars stroll past Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai.
Rashid weaves his magic
Lahore Qalandars must be loving Rashid Khan’s decision to ditch a Count Championship season for another PSL stint with them.
The mystery leg-spinner has been Lahore’s best bowler by far despite playing only four games as he had to leave the Pakistan leg of the tournament owing to international duty.
In the Peshawar Zalmi clash, he dismantled Wahab Riaz’s men to make the 171-run chase seem like a target beyond sight.
His 5-20 that included a maiden over helped the Qalandars stop Zalmi at 160/8.
This earned him the second consecutive Man of the Match award.
Lahore continue to boss around
Lahore Qalandars have won both games of their UAE-leg campaign so far.
Their back-to-back wins have helped them propel to the top of the points table.
With Karachi losing to Multan Sultans in the last game, there’s no one threatening to dethrone Sohail Akhter’s side from the top now.
The Qalandars have 10 points in the bag.
They have lost only one game out of six clashes and are four points ahead of the second-placed Kings.
The defending champions lost their match against Mohammad Rizwan-led Sultans hours before Lahore triumphed.
Malik too hot to handle
Veteran T20 star Shoaib Malik went berserk, to say the least.
Although, he ended up on the losing side, but his blistering 73 off 48 balls was a treat for cricket fans.
The 39-year-old senior campaigner was performing at his best as if questioning the selection criteria of the Pakistan Cricket Board who ignored him for the white-ball series against England and West Indies in July.
His seven fours and three sixes troubled the Qalandars but lack of support from the other end did not help the Zalmi’s cause.
Pacer Haris Rauf eventually got Malik’s scalp, but the dismissal seemed more like Malik giving the wicket away himself, hitting the stumps mistakenly with his own bat, something he has done even before!
Remember the 2019 Pakistan-England series?
The Faulkner revival
James Faulkner seems determined to produce his best form in this year’s PSL.
The Australian star has been phenomenal since joining the Qalandars in the Dubai leg of the competition.
When other bowlers of the Lahore pace cartel were being creamed all over the ground, he troubled the Zalmi batting with subtle variations.
In the first innings, Faulker only took seven balls to strike 22 runs before Umaid Asif ran him out.
His cameo that came at a 314 strike rate helped Lahore reach a fighting total of 170/8.
Not to forget Tim David’s gritty half-century that saved the nose-diving Qalandars in the first half with the bat.
He then picked two wickets for 23 runs in his quota of four overs.
Faulkner’s spell was crucial in terms of runs conceded since his fast-bowling colleagues Ahmed Daniyal (0-47), Haris Rauf (1-38) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (0-31) were not at their best.
Lahore Qalandars 170 for 8 (David 64*, Dunk 48, Allen 2-36) beat Peshawar Zalmi 160 for 8 (Malik 73, Umaid 23*, Rashid 5-20, Faulkner 2-23) by ten runs.