Peshawar Zalmi 132 for 7 (Banton 34, Haider Ali 34, Dilbar Hussain 4-24) beat Lahore Qalandars 116 for 6 (Lynn 30, Samit Patel 34, Gregory 4-25) by 16 runs
How the game played out
The early season woes of Lahore Qalandars continued in Rawalpindi as Tom Banton and Haider Ali’s aggressive knocks helped set a total of 132 that was well out of reach, setting up a 16-run win for Peshawar Zalmi in a match that was rain-reduced to 12 overs. The pair struck twin 34s at better than two runs per ball, combining for a total of six sixes.
Medium pacer Dilbar Hussain did his best to rein in the scoring rate with a four-wicket haul, striking immediately upon his entry in the eighth over to get Haider, but by that stage Zalmi’s batting unit had given a solid platform for some lusty late hitting by Lewis Gregory, Darren Sammy and Wahab Riaz for a further four sixes.
Chris Lynn spearheaded a fiery reply by Qalandars to get them to 48 for 0 in four overs, well in line with the required run rate in the 12-over chase. But Gregory derailed the replay upon his entry into the attack in the fifth over, striking twice in his first five balls to claim Lynn and then Hafeez on his way to a four-wicket haul of his own. Qalandars stuttered the rest of the way as wickets fell in regular intervals mainly to Gregory, whose fine all-round display earned him Player of the Match honours.
Lynn had savaged Hasan Ali’s medium pace in the second over, cracking a trio of fours over third man, cover and extra cover. But his attempt to flat-bat a short ball from Gregory over long-off failed to clear Hasan on the boundary, and the wheels quickly fell off as Gregory continued to flummox the Qalandars batsmen with a regular diet of change of pace deliveries.
Star of the day
Gregory began his day by hammering legspinner Maaz Khan for a straight six and then slicing Dilbar over third man for another maximum in a crucial late burst with the bat. After striking with his first ball in the field, Gregory outfoxed Hafeez four balls later with an offcutter heaved to Banton at deep midwicket for wicket number two in his haul.
Fakhar Zaman, who gave multiple chances, drove a fuller ball high to Liam Livingstone at long-on to give Gregory a third wicket. The Englishman rounded off his haul nabbing Sohail Akhtar caught behind. One ball after the Qalandars captain heaved him for six over the leg side, Gregory dragged his length back to cramp Sohail trying to cut, resulting in a healthy edge through to Kamran Akmal. Gregory also arguably could have had a fifth wicket had Mohammad Amir Khan come forward instead of backpedalling all the way up against the rope at deep third man on an uppercut off the bat of Samit Patel, only for the ball to land two yards in front of his feet.
The big miss
Umpire Tariq Rasheed called Shaheen Afridi for a no ball on the Pakistani quick’s first ball coming on in the third over, but replays showed his foot was comfortably behind the line. Shaheen was not pleased, even less so when Banton sliced him over third man for six on the free hit, one of several mighty blows struck on the day by the right-hander.
Where the teams stand
Qalandars are still searching for their first victory of the season, having lost each of their first three matches. Zalmi are tied for third place on four points with Islamabad United, though United have a superior net run rate.