Peshawar Zalmi register one-run win to book place in eliminator two against Karachi Kings
Liam Dawson’s brilliant innings and top class all-round bowling performance was enough for Peshawar Zalmi to register a nail biting one-run win over Quetta Gladiators in the first eliminator of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Tuesday.
The win means Zalmi will now face Karachi Kings on the same venue on Wednesday for a place in the final against Islamabad United on March 25. The day started with Gladiators captain Sarfaraz Ahmed winning the toss and opting to bowl first.
His decision proved a correct one as Zalmi lost in-from wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal and Andre Fletcher at the score of just 10 in the third over. But a 44-run third-wicket partnership between opener Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Hafeez stabilize the innings. However, both departed in quick succession. At that point, Dawson stood up and made himself count by playing an outstanding knock of 62 off 35, including six fours and four sixes, to help Zalmi reach more than respectable total of 157.
For Quetta Gladiators, left-arm pacer Rahat Ali was the pick of the bowlers, as he claimed four, whereas Sri Lanka all-rounder Thisara Perera claimed two wickets.
In reply, Gladiators also had a horrid beginning as both openers Asad Shafiq and Tom Kohler-Cadmore went back to the pavilion at the score of 17 in the third over. A 63-run third-wicket partnership between Mohammad Nawaz and captain Sarfraz put Gladiators firmly in control of the chase. However, madness in the 10th over saw Quetta lost two wickets on two deliveries, which gave Zalmi a way back in the match.
From there on, last year finalists kept losing wickets at regular intervals and at one stage needed 25 runs off the final over. All-rounder Anwar Ali smashed three massive sixes and a four off the first five balls to make batting team favorites with three needed off the final delivery.
However, on the last delivery, which happened to be a full toss, Ali tried to clear the mid-on boundary, where he was dropped by Umaid Asif, but he made up for it by throwing the ball to the bowling end, where Dawson collected the ball and run out Mir Hamza as he was trying to complete the second run, to secure a narrow victory on the night for the Zalmi.
Nawaz and Sarfaraz finished the innings with the joint top score of 35 each off 32 and 21 balls respectively. For Peshawar Zalmi, pacers Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Sameen Gul and Umaid Asif claimed two wickets each.