Recent Match Report – Islamabad United vs Peshawar Zalmi, Pakistan Super League, 20th Match

Peshawar Zalmi 85 for 2 (Akmal 37) beat Islamabad United 195 for 5 (Khan 77, Munro 52) by seven runs (D/L method)

How the game played out

Shadab Khan’s sizzling 77 off 42 balls vaulted him into second place on the PSL top scorers list for 2020, but the Islamabad United captain’s knock was in vain as rain arrived with Peshawar Zalmi seven runs ahead of the DLS par score at the nine-over mark of their chase, taking the fizz out of what was shaping up to be an exciting game in Rawalpindi.

Khan partnered with the two Colin’s, Munro and Ingram, for a pair of half-century partnerships to set a target of 196 in what was an incredibly sloppy fielding performance by Zalmi. But in spite of five dropped chances, including two each off Khan and one apiece off Ingram and Munro, Zalmi’s bowlers managed to haul back the United innings with some brilliant death bowling.

A typically pugnacious start to the chase by Kamran Akmal (37 off 21) kept Zalmi well ahead of the DLS par score, even after both he and Imam-ul-Haq fell. Khan protested with the umpires when drizzle increased to the point that the covers were brought on with United 85 for 2, feeling that they could have played on though it was clear he making a hard sell knowing his side were behind on DLS.

The match had already been delayed 15 minutes at the start due to early afternoon rain and a wet outfield. After a further 55-minute delay, Zalmi were set a revised target which left them needing 21 off two more overs. But just as the players were about to take the field once again, the rain returned to cement Zalmi as winners on the day.

Turning point

The wicket of Ingram to end a 76-run stand with Khan. United had been cruising at more than 10 an over throughout their innings, but Ingram couldn’t clear long-on trying to smash a Hasan Ali full toss. Liam Livingstone took the catch, which triggered a bizarre stalling of the innings.

Khan fell six balls later smashing a length ball from Wahab Riaz to Livingstone again; it was his third catch of the day. Rahat Ali then followed up by conceding just six runs in the final over, wrapping up a sequence in which United scored just 11 runs off the final 13 balls despite having seven wickets in hand. So, instead of sailing past 200, United finished with a comparatively gettable 195 for 5.

Star of the day

Though it came in a losing effort, Khan’s half-century – his third of the season to put him level with Munro – continued to build a very strong case for his ending up as Player of the Tournament. He is now joint-second on the PSL scoring chart alongside Akmal with 237 runs at 47.40 and a strike rate of 170.50.

Khan is just 11 runs behind United team-mate Luke Ronchi for the overall scoring lead and after striking four more sixes in this contest, he now has a tournament best 15 maximums.

The big miss

Though there were five drops in the United innings, the lone drop in the Zalmi chase was perhaps the clumsiest of all. Tom Banton was on 16 in the seventh over when he top-edged a sweep off Zafar Gohar’s left-arm spin to Akif Javed at short fine leg. Though it was not by any means a steepler, the ball slipped through Javed’s hands as he snatched at it.

Where the teams stand

Zalmi joined Multan Sultans at the top of the PSL table on nine points, though Sultans hold a massive advantage on net run rate and also have two matches in hand. United are third on the points table with seven points and a superior net run rate to Karachi Kings, though the Kings have two matches in hand.

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