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KARACHI: In a major achievement, Peshawar Zalmi Friday entered the playoff phase by inflicting a humiliating 76-run defeat on Quetta Gladiators in the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) season nine at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

Zalmi outclassed their counterparts in all departments of the game as the Gladiators suffered a heavy margin defeat which considerably affected their net run rate (NRR).

However, despite a heavy loss, the Gladiators can simply make their way to the PSL 9 playoffs just by winning one of their remaining two matches, against Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans.Chasing the target of 197, Gladiators’ opener Saud Shakeel started brilliantly with the left-handed batter scoring a quick 24 off 12 before losing his wicket to Mehran Mumtaz.

Soon after Saud’s departure, problems started for the chasing side as they ended up losing three wickets in the next four overs.

None of Rilee Rossouw (8), Khawaja Nafay (5) and Omair Yousuf (10) could perform as the wickets kept falling and the Gladiators could only score 120 runs in 17.5 overs before losing all of their wickets. Saim Ayub, Luke Wood, Khurram Shahzad and Mumtaz starred with the ball, taking two wickets each while, Naveen-ul-Haq and Aamer Jamal picked one.

Asked to bat first, Peshawar started their innings brilliantly as star batter Saim Ayub provided an early breakthrough to his side with his aggressive cricket as the left-handed batter hit Quetta’s veteran pacer, Sohail Khan, for a six and a four in the second over.

However, Saim was soon removed by Sohail after contributing 30 runs off 12 balls. Zalmi’s skipper Babar Azam continued the brilliant start provided by the left-handed batter as the 29-year-old kept on playing attacking cricket.

Peshawar then lost two wickets of Mohammad Haris and Haseebullah Khan in quick succession. With the arrival of Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Babar got much-needed support at the other end as the two formed a 36-run partnership before the departure of Zalmi’s skipper.

Babar became Akeal’s victim after scoring 53 off 30 with the help of nine fours and a six as he was trapped LBW in the 13th over.

Kohler-Cadmore too departed for the pavilion in the next over after scoring 33 on 19 balls which was followed by Hosein’s hat-trick.

Despite Hosein’s remarkable effort with the ball, the Gladiators couldn’t stop Zalmi as Rovman Powell dragged his side to a competitive total with his late heroics with the bat.

Hosein starred with four wickets to his name while Abrar Ahmed, Sohail Khan, and Mohammad Hasnain picked one each.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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