The template doesn’t change for Lahore Qalandars. They got off to a blazing start in the Powerplay again with Fakhar Zaman smashing 25 in the first two overs. Once the first six overs had ended, they began to lose wickets and the wheels came off rapidly. Peshawar Zalmi skittled them out for 100, the lowest total in the PSL this year. Soon after, they became the fifth team to inflict defeat on Brendon McCullum’s beleaguered side. This was the most resounding one yet, the first 10-wicket defeat in the history of the PSL.
The collapse this time was even more dramatic than previous games, tempered only by its predictability. After reaching 57 for one at the end of the Powerplay, they failed to build on it through the middle overs, continuing to go for rash shots and losing wickets rapidly in the process. Before you knew it, the tail was in, and Peshawar, further strengthened by the return of Hasan Ali, prowled ominously.
The chase was everything Lahore are not: calm, clinical, mature and professional. It required just openers Tamim Iqbal and Kamran Akmal to brush aside Lahore. Kamran scored a 47-ball 57, while Tamim was unbeaten on 36 as the chase effectively became a stroll early on. Lahore’s bowlers were toothless, their fielding uninspired, their captain out of ideas – and their side very likely out of the tournament already.
Where the match was won
A chase of 101 isn’t daunting by any means, but many teams thought processes get muddled while assessing how to go about a small chase. Not Peshawar Zalmi, whose openers were as assured as could be hoped in the situation. They got their eye in for the first couple of overs, not letting the lack of runs worry them. Inevitably, the runs came once they were settled at the crease. Lahore weren’t good enough in the field either, dropping a catch early on, and allowing themselves errors they could ill-afford. It wasn’t Lahore’s charity to give, and Peshawar didn’t need it at any rate, the opening pair ensuring no one else in the dugout was disturbed.
The men that won it
Hasan Ali hasn’t bowled for over a month, but he didn’t look any worse for it. Skiddy, quick and consistent, he bowled in the Powerplay when Fakhar was in blistering form, keeping that over to just three runs. He got rid of the McCullum, and was instrumental in orchestrating Lahore’s collapse, cleaning up Sunil Narine and wrapping things up with a third wicket for good measure.
Another newcomer into the side didn’t do much worse either. Liam Dawson was brought in to replace Darren Sammy.