Pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi and all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez delivered superlative performances to help Lahore Qalandars register a comfortable win over Peshawar Zalmi in the Eliminator game of 2020 Pakistan Super League played at National Cricket Stadium on Saturday. With this result, Lahore Qalandars will now face Multan Sultans for a place in the finals of the competition.
Earlier, Lahore Qalandars won the toss and opted to bowl first. The decision proved correct as Shaheen Shah Afridi and Dilbar Hussain picked up early wickets in Peshawar Zalmi in a spot of bother.
Opener Imam-ul-Haq played well and scored 24 runs off 19 balls with help of two sixes, whereas Sohaib Maqsood chipped in with 16 runs off 17 balls with the help of one four.
For Peshawar Zalmi, Faf du Plessis and Shoaib Malik delivered crucial performances against Lahore Qalandars. Shoaib Malik finished the innings with the top-score of 39 runs off 24 balls with the help of two fours and two sixes. He was well supported by Faf du Plessis, who chipped in with 31 runs off 25 balls with the help of one four and one six.
Malik and Faf du Plessis perished to see Peshawar Zalmi lose momentum and lose quick wickets in the final overs of the innings. With the side placed at 133 for 8 after 17.3 overs, Hardus Viljeon produced a splendid cameo for Peshawar Zalmi. He produced a quick-fire 37 runs off 16 balls with the help of three fours and three sixes.
Due to late blitz from Hardus Viljeon, Peshawar Zalmi managed to post a competitive score of 170 runs for the loss of nine wickets in their 20 overs.
For Lahore Qalandars, Dilbar Hussain was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets to his name, whereas Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and David Wiese claimed two wickets apiece.
Chasing 171 runs for victory, pacer Saqib Mahmood made early inroads with the new-ball and claimed important wickets of Fakhar Zaman and Captain Sohail Akhtar to put Peshawar on top in the game.
Tamim Iqbal also looked good in his innings and perished in the 4th over after scoring 18 runs off 10 balls with the help of two boundaries and one six.
With Qalandars placed in a precarious situation at 33 for 3 after 5 overs, Ben Dunk and Mohammad Hafeez came together at the crease and led the fightback with 55-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
Wicket-keeper batsman Ben Dunk played a supporting role to Mohammad Hafeez and scored 20 runs off 19 balls with the help of two boundaries.
Mohammad Hafeez showed excellent form with the bat and stitched crucial partnerships with Ben Dunk, Samit Patel and David Wiese.
For Lahore Qalandars, Mohammad Hafeez produced a scintillating batting performance against Peshawar Zalmi. He remained unbeaten till the end and smashed 74 off 46 balls with the help of nine boundaries and two sixes. He was well supported by the likes of Samit Patel and David Wiese, who chipped in with scores of 20 and 16 respectively.
For Peshawar Zalmi, pacer Saqib Mahmood was the pick of the bowlers and finished with figures of 3 for 41 in his four overs.
For his outstanding batting performance, Mohammad Hafeez was named player of the match.