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13th Match Report: Peshawar Zalmi Vs Islamabad United

Tamim scores another half century as Peshawar seal a comfortable victory against Islamabad

Peshawar Zalmi won the toss and elected to field for the first time in the tournament, while Misbah Ul Haq was back from injury to lead Islamabad United. The Sharjah stadium was packed to the rafters and the atmosphere was absolutely electric as the dynamic Shane Watson and Sharjeel Khan came to open the innings. Shaun Tait bowled a great first over, conceding only one run. Watson took charge and targeted Junaid Khan in the very next over, dispatching him for two beautiful boundaries. Islamabad were kept relatively quiet by Zalmi’s attack before Sharjeel decided to play a few shots of his own. Mohammad Asghar, who has been a great find for Zalmi, was introduced in to the attack and started working his magic from the very first over. He kept the batsmen guessing and bowled a superb delivery to bowl out Watson who was left clueless. Khalid Latif came on to bat next and played confidently as he kept the scoreboard ticking, scoring boundaries at regular intervals. Sharjeel dispatched Afridi for two sixes in the eighth over, before being dismissed in the tenth by Tait as he departed after making 28 runs from 22 balls. Islamabad were 72/2 after the first ten overs.

Islamabad’s captain Misbah Ul Haq came on to bat next and after taking his time to settle in, he launched off! He began hitting the ball with ease and gave Afridi a beating in the 14th over, smashing away two huge sixes along with an intricate boundary towards the off side. Khalid Latif went about his business on the other end and joined in the party by dispatching Wahab for a mighty six as United looked to finish off strongly against an impressive bowling attack. Misbah was dismissed by Wahab in the 17th over, with Afridi taking an easy catch at cover. Andre Russell came on with only three overs remaining but was sent back by Asghar on only his second delivery as he found Darren Sammy on long off for a comfortable catch. Latif continued to play responsibly and made sure Islamabad got to a fighting total before being dismissed in the 19th over after scoring an important 59 from 41 deliveries. Islamabad United could manage 152/6 in their allotted 20 overs, an effort Peshawar Zalmi must have been content with.

The in-form Mohammad Hafeez and Tamim Iqbal opened the innings for Peshawar Zalmi and wasted little time in setting the tone for the chase. The ‘Professor’ continued to build on his good form as he stroked the ball exquisitely, hitting Russell for three boundaries in the third over. Russell went off the field due to injury as United were reduced to four bowlers. Just as Hafeez (25 from 14 balls) was beginning to look dangerous, he lofted one up in the air into Misbah’s safe hands off Mohammad Sami’s bowling. With that wicket gone, Jim Allenby came on to the middle as Tamim began to take charge. He dispatched Ajmal for two big blows for six as he continued to keep the runs flowing. Samuel Badree, who was bowling beautifully, picked up Allenby cheaply as Sami showed great athleticism to take a brilliant catch in the deep. Kamran Akmal was next for Islamabad, with Tamim stroking the ball nicely on the other end with some confident batting. Peshawar were 82/2 after the first eleven overs.

Ajmal was hammered for runs but struck back by stumping Akmal in the 12th over courtesy some quick keeping by Haddin. Shahid Yusuf came on to the middle and supported Tamim well, who completed another half century in the HBL PSL and continued to go about his business gracefully as Islamabad looked comfortable to seal the victory at 121/3 after fifteen overs. There was no stopping Tamim Iqbal in the end, as he smashed Rumman Raees for a flurry of boundaries in the 17th over which more or less sealed the game for Zalmi. Peshawar Zalmi sealed the victory in the second last over, winning comfortably by 7 wickets in the end as Tamim remained not out at 80 from 58 deliveries. Peshawar Zalmi are soaring in the HBL PSL, while Islamabad United need to turn things around soon.

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