The dominance of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/Peshawar in domestic
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa outplayed Punjab in the final of Pakistan Cup. They won the big contest by a huge margin of 151 runs. Fakhar Zaman’s century, Ahmed Shehzad’s half century and Younis Khan’s 49 runs put KPK in a decent position with 312 runs on the board. After the supremacy with the bat, KPK bowlers also came hard on Punjab to destroy their batting lineup for just 160 runs. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been dominating Pakistan domestic circuit for around two years now.
On 28th September, 2014, Peshawar Panthers were invincible during the domestic T20 tournament under the captaincy of Zohaib Khan. They locked horns with the star studded Lahore Lions, but, completely ruled the game and won the final by 7 wickets, chasing the target of 134 runs in just 19.3 overs. They put an incredible team game throughout the tournament and stood tall as champions at the end of it.
Junaid Khan led the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Fighters in 2015 Pentangular One Day Cup. Losing just one game against Punjab Badshahs in the tournament, the KPK side easily made their way into the final of the tournament. They were against Azhar Ali’s Baluchistan Warriors, who were also having an impressive run in the campaign. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Fighters were given a challenging task by Baluchistan Warriors to chase down 239 runs with the courtesy of Sami Aslam’s century. KPK stepped up to the task and chased down the target with three overs to spare, the rising star, Mohammad Rizwan struck a brilliant century under pressure that took KPK home.
Peshawar was up to defend their domestic T20 title in September 2015. There were striving to prove that the win in the preceding year wasn’t a fluke, they were determined and were anxious to show their worth. The defending champions faced just one jolt in their journey to the final, they unexpectedly lost against an underdog side, Abbottabad. The side from the KPK was against Karachi in the final, who posted 177 runs batting first. It looked like Peshawar’s title reign is over. But, the Peshawar batsmen had other ideas. Rafatullah Mohmand gone all guns blazing from the word go, his quickfire 43 runs put his team in control. Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohammad Rizwan scored 57 and 58 off 40 and 34 balls respectively that steered Peshawar to a win.
In the inaugural season of Pakistan Super League, Peshawar Zalmi were astounding during the tournament. Unfortunately, they lost in the playoffs and Peshawar lost the chance to win the all important tournament just by a whisker. Otherwise, it would have been another precious feather in KPK/Peshawar’s cap.