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Peshawar Zalmi won the match against Quetta Gladiators to garner 2 more points; they are placed 4th with 4 points and will take on Lahore Qalandars, who are still at the bottom of the table with zero points, at Sharjah on 3rd March. Zalmi bowlers did well to restrict the Gladiators to 141 runs and the batsmen chased down the target with ease; they are in good form to outwit the Qalandars here. The Qalandars tied their last match against Islamabad United but haven’t managed to climb up the ladder.
Chasing 142 runs against Gladiators, Tamim Iqbal posted 36 off 38 while Mohammad Hafeez and Dwayne Smith scored 20+ runs each to help them get to the target on time. Sabbir Rahman and Sammy kept the scoreboard moving and they won the match by 5 wickets with 2 balls to spare. Earlier, the pacers did well to stifle the opponents at regular intervals; Sammy, Wahab Riaz and Umaid Asif took 2 wickets each in an economical manner while Sameen Gul and spinner Khalid Usman took a wicket each to restrict Gladiators to 141. They have a good mix of spin and pace and could prove to be a tough unit here against Qalandars.
Against Karachi Kings, the batting line-up put up a dismal show and except Dwayne Smith, who posted a heroic 71 off 51, the others were dismissed quickly. The batsmen could garner only 131 runs in the end and the bowling unit failed to defend the total against a determined opposition. Pacer Chris Jordan and spinner Ibtisam Sheikh took 2 wickets apiece while Mohammad Asghar contributed with one dismissal, but they hardly had enough to fight with and lost the match by 5 wickets.
Overall, Zalmi have done well to bounce back after the loss against Kings and could come out all guns blazing here to keep their winning momentum going.
Tamim Iqbal, Kamran Akmal, DR Smith, Mohammad Hafeez, Sabbir Rahman, LA Dawson, Khalid Usman, Wahab Riaz, Umaid Asif, Hasan Ali, Sameen Gul.
The bowlers did extremely well to stifle United to 121 runs in their last outing, and then the batsmen came very close to chasing down the target but ended up in a tie as they could muster just the same number of runs. Agha Salman top-scored with 48 off 35 while McCullum continued his good form with 34 runs but others like Fakhar Zaman, Umar Akmal and Denesh Ramdin failed to impress.
Earlier, spinner Yasir Shah put up a stupendous effort, taking 3-20 while pacer Sohail Khan claimed 2-23. Mustafizur Rahman and Fakhar Zaman took a wicket each and they successfully restricted the opponents to a lowly score but the batting line-up yet again disappointed.
Against Karachi Kings, the batsmen failed to chase down 160 runs after players like Sunil Narine and Umar Akmal were ousted quickly. The middle-order also collapsed like a pack of cards; captain Brendon McCullum led from the front with a well-made 44 while Fakhar Zaman played a useful knock but others like Sohail Akhtar and Ramdin failed to pitch in with the runs. They lost the match by 27 runs after a good effort by the bowling team, which saw spinners Yasir Shah and Sunil Narine take 2 wickets each and pacer Sohail Khan wrapping up 2 wickets.
Brendon McCullum, SP Narine, F Zaman, Agha Salman, Umar Akmal, Denesh Ramdin, Sohail Akhtar, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah, Mustafizur Rahman, Salman Irshad.
Lahore Qalandars continue to struggle with the bat and would need to create something special; we feel that Peshawar Zalmi, who come at the back of a win, are better placed to emerge victorious here.