SHARJAH: Dawid Malan scored an unbeaten 60 off 52 balls to lead Peshawar Zalmi’s reply as they comprehensively beat Quetta Gladiators by eight wickets at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
Malan’s innings included six fours and a six.
Earlier, Grant Elliott and Zulfiqar Babar shared between them a record 63-run stand off 32 balls for the 10th wicket as Quetta Gladiators posted 129, after being down 66-9 at one stage.
Zalmi’s run-chase relied heavily on the 60-run opening partnership between Mohammad Hafeez and Malan for the first wicket. Hafeez was dismissed for 36 off 29 balls, hitting five fours and one six.
But Hafeez’s wicket followed another 54-run stand for the second wicket between wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal and Malan. When Akmal was sent back to the pavilion on 17(27), Zalmi were just 16 runs away from victory and completed their chase in 18.4 overs.
For Gladiators, Zulfiqar Babar and Mohammad Nawaz claimed one wicket each.
Skipper Afridi was the pick of bowlers for Zalmi with figures 4-1-7-5, followed by Wahab Riaz 3-0-19-2. Afridi was declared the Man of the Match. Left-arm spinner Mohammad Asghar and pacer Junaid Khan also chipped in by claiming a wicket each.
None of the Gladiators batsmen other than Ahmed Shehzad (21), Elliott (40) and Babar (20*) could put up resistance when Zalmi spearheads came out all guns blazing.
Shehzad was looking in a good form and all set for a big innings until Wahab got rid of his middle stump after getting smashed for a mighty six in the fifth over.
The wicket followed an exchange of harsh words between the bowler and the batsman, but the incident was soon overlooked as Afridi brought himself into the attack and wreaked havoc on the Gladiators.
Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara was joined by Gladiators as skipper Sarfraz won the toss and decided to bat first.
Sarfraz announced four changes to his team, with Sangakkara, Asad Shafiq, Elton Chigumbura and Umar Gul replacing Luke Wright, Kevin Pietersen, Anwar Ali and Aizaz Cheema.
For Zalmi, Brad Hodge was brought in for injured opening batsman Tamim Iqbal.
While the other teams have experienced mixed fortunes, the Shahid Afridi and Sarfraz Ahmed-led sides have continued to march on to be among the top two PSL sides so far.
Ahmed Shehzad, Kumar Sangakkara, Asad Shafiq, Grant Elliott, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain, wicketkeeper), Mohammad Nawaz, Elton Chigumbura, Mohammad Nabi, Zulfiqar Babar, Akbar-Ur-Rehman and Umar Gul.
Mohammad Hafeez, Dawid Malan, Kamran Akmal (wicketkeeper), Shahid Yousuf, Brad Hodge, Shahid Afridi (captain), Darren Sammy, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Asghar and Shaun Tait.