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LAHORE: Two more matches were decided in the HBL-PSL-7 here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Sunday amid foolproof security arrangements adopted by the law-enforcing agencies.

In the first match Karachi Kings were defeated by Peshawar Zalmi, while in the second match Lahore Qalandars easily beat Quetta Gladiators.

In the 19th match of event, Karachi Kings’ nightmarish season in the event continued, as the Babar Azam-led side lost their sixth successive match of the season at the hands of Peshawar Zalmi by 55 runs. The defeat has left Kings needing a miracle to reach the play-offs as they would not only need to win all of their remaining four matches, they would also need other results to go in their favour. Zalmi have now won three out of their seven matches and remain in the hunt for a play-off berth.

Put into bat, the Peshawar Zalmi openers Hazratullah Zazai and debutant Mohammad Haris (player of the match) made full use of Kings’ mistakes in the field especially during the power play overs. Haris who hit a six off the first ball he faced in his HBL PSL career was dropped by Sahibzada Farhan. Zazai was let off by Farhan when he was on two. The duo kept going after the bowling and earned rich rewards in their 97-run opening stand which ended on the last ball of the 10th over with Haris bowled by Nabi for a scintillating 49 off 27 balls (three fours, four sixes). Zazai scored his third 50 in a mere four matches against the Kings, the left-hander was eventually dismissed by Qasim Akram who was appearing in his first match of the season for 52 off 42 balls. Zazai’s innings was laced with six fours and a six.

Shoaib Malik (31 off 21, three fours) and Ben Cutting (26 off 15, four fours) made useful contributions to steer their side to 193 for six. Chris Jordan with three wickets for 41 was the most successful Kings bowler.

Kings despite needing 194 for a win made a sedate start. Opener Sharjeel Khan failed to get going and was dismissed for 14 off 16 balls. Babar added 60 for the second wicket with Joe Clarke but both failed to score runs at the required rate against a disciplined and probing Zalmi attack. Clarke was bowled by Liam Livingstone for a run-a-ball 26 while Babar fell for 59 off 46 (six fours). The rest of the Kings line-up looked hapless against the ever increasing asking rate. Zalmi bowlers maintained their stranglehold till the end as Kings finished their 20 overs at 138 for six. Salman Irshad and Wahab Riaz snared two wickets each for Zalmi. However, Lahore Qalandars beat Quetta Gladiators by eight wickets in the 20th match of the HBL-PSL-7 here.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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