Mohammad Hafeez’s brilliance knocks Zalmi out of the tournament

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Karachi: Professor Mohammad Hafeez’s brilliant inning has guided Lahore Qalandars to eliminate Peshawar Zalmi here at National Stadium.

In the first eliminator of Pakistan Super League (PSL) season five, veteran Hafeez and David Weise smashed 20 runs in the penultimate over off Zalmi’s skipper Wahab Riaz to hand Qalandars their first playoff win in the history of the competition.

Earlier, Zalmi was put in to bat by Qalandars captain Sohail Akhtar. Shoaib Malik and Hardus Viljoen guided Peshawar Zalmi to 170/9 in 20 overs.

Malik scored a valuable 39 while Hardus struck a cameo of 37 after a slowish start by Zalmi’s top-order. Faf du Plessis in his first PSL innings scored 31.

Shaheen Shah Afridi provided a brilliant by sending Haider Ali back to the pavilion on the second ball of the match.

Sohail Maqsood was removed by Dilbar Hussain in the fifth over. Imam-ul-Haq was undone by a brilliant piece of work by David Weise, who claimed a caught and bowl in the ninth over. Imam scored 19-ball 24.

Du Plessis and Malik rescued the Zalmi’s slow-paced innings. They posted a 35-run stand before Du Plessis was removed by Dilbar, courtesy of a brilliant umpiring decision. Faf struck a four and a six.

Malik continued to chip in singles until he was also dismissed by Dilbar in the 16th over. Malik in his 24-ball knock hit two fours and as many sixes.

In the end, it was Viljoen’s powerful cameo of 37 in just 16 balls. He smashed 20 runs off Haris Rauf in the final over. He struck three fours and three sixes.

For Qalandars, Dilbar finished with figures of 3/33 while Shaheen was economical, claiming figures of 2/18. Haris and Weise were expensive but picked two wickets each.

Set to chase 171, Qalandars lost openers, Fakhar Zaman (6) and Tamim Iqbal (18). Debutant Saqib Mehmood dismissed them in the third over with the help of Imam-ul-Haq, who was behind the wickets in the absence of Kamran Akmal.

Saqib returned and removed Qalandars’ skipper Sohail (7). Qalandars managed to score 41 in the powerplay.

Hafeez and Ben Dunk rescued the innings by posting a valuable 55 run-stand. Dunk (20) couldn’t express himself as he was dismissed by debutant Mohammad Imran.

Hafeez was accompanied by Samit Patel, who scored a 17-ball 20 with the help of three fours. He was dismissed by Rahat Ali and the chase got tougher for Qalandars.

But Hafeez continued to show his class as he registered 16 runs in the 18th over off Saqib. Hafeez and Weise then easily drove Qalandars to win in the 19th overs. The professor played an unbeaten knock of 74 in just 46 balls, powered by nine fours and two sixes. Weise made 7-ball 16. For Zalmi, Saqib picked three while Rahat and Imran claimed one each.

There will now be a new winner of PSL as all three former champions Zalmi. Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators have been knocked out.

Qalandars will now face Multan Sultans today at 8.00 pm here at the same venue. The winner between them will face Karachi Kings in the final on November 17th.

Read: Frontliners Amir, Imad, Babar drive Karachi Kings to PSL 5 final

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