Shahid Afridi led Peshawar Zalmi won the toss against the Lahore Qalandars in the 15th match of PSL and opted to field first at the iconic Sharjah cricket stadium.
Although the Qalandars got off to a rough start as their explosive opener Chris Gayle was given out LBW when it was evident that the ball was missing the stumps. Junaid Khan was the successful bowler once again as he won the battle upfront against the mighty Caribbean batsman.
Azhar Ali and Cameron Delport formed a 54 run partnership for the fifth wicket to bring the Qalandars back in it and ensured that they did not lose any more wickets during the first few overs. Azhar went after scoring 25 runs.
Delport kept the score board ticking and made sure that he found the fence here and there. He combined with Umar Akmal to snitch a 101 run partnership for the third wicket.
Lahore Qalandars scored 101 runs in the last 10 overs of their innings to end on a high (164-3) and gave themselves something to bowl at on this seemingly batting friendly Sharjah pitch. Junaid Khan took 2 wickets for Peshawar Zalmi. Delport was the top scorer with 78 runs while Umar Akmal remained not out on 51 which came in quick time.
In reply the Peshawar Zalmi side fell short by 4 runs as they failed to chase down this total. The Zalmi side looked set on chasing down this total at one stage but losing wickets at regular intervals meant that the Qalandars were allowed to get back into the game. Malan held one end for quite a while as he accumulated 42 runs with the help of three sixes but once he departed the batting lineup faded away. Tamim Iqbal scored 30 runs at the top of the order. Kamran Akmal and Shahid Yousuf scored 18 and 16 runs respectively.
Kevon Cooper bowled magnificently as he took 3 wickets for just 25 runs in his four overs. He bowled the crucial 17th over where he sent Sammy and Malan packing and conceded just 6 runs.
Cameron Delport had an amazing day with the bowl as well beacause he was the one who kept a check on the scoring through his off cutters during the middle overs. He also grabbed three crucial wickets including the one of Shahid Afridi. He ended with figures of 3-18 in his four overs.
Peshawar needed 16 runs off the last over but Wahab and Junaid Khan could not get their team over the line. Delport was declared man of the match.
Lahore’s next match will be against Quetta Gladiators on Tuesday while Peshawar Zalmi will face Quetta in tomorrow’s second clash.