Lahore Qalandars 241 for 3 (Fakhar 96, Shafique 75, Billings 47*, Riaz 2-45) beat Peshawar Zalmi 201 for 9 (Kohler-Cadmore 55, Ayub 51, Shaheen 5-40) by 40 runs
Gaddafi Stadium witnessed a clinic in six hitting on Sunday, as the home side Lahore Qalandars pumped 18 sixes while posting 241 for 3, the season’s highest batting total. After that, Shaheen Shah Afridi ran through the Peshawar Zalmi batting unit to finish with 5 for 40, thereby ensuring a 40-run win for Qalandars in a high-scoring mid-table tussle.
The game was set up by Qalandars’ top order, with Abdullah Shafique (75) and Fakhar Zaman (96) putting on 120 in 10.3 overs. Shafique was the majority contributor in that partnership, thumping five fours and five sixes in his 41-ball innings. Once he fell, Fakhar took over proceedings, mauling 10 sixes and three fours while charging towards a third T20 century. However, he fell four short of the landmark when he mistimed a drive to cover.
With Fakhar gone, Zalmi had the opportunity to bring Qalandars’ run-rate down in the slog overs. But No. 4 Sam Billings did not let that happen, crunching 47 runs in 23 balls to leave Zalmi chasing an imposing 242. The 18 sixes struck by Qalandars also set a PSL record while their total was the third-highest in the competition’s all-time list.
The Zalmi chase began terribly with Mohammad Haris and Babar Azam falling prey to Shaheen’s new-ball spell. However, half-centuries from Saim Ayub (51) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (55) in quick time on a batting-friendly surface kept Zalmi’s run-rate high, taking the side to 119 for 2 in 10 overs. They played a big part in Rashid Khan going for 1 for 49 in his four overs, his worst spell in PSL history.
But both batters fell in the space of six deliveries and the experienced middle order could not come to the fore. Bhanuka Rajapaksa, James Neesham and Rovman Powell produced short-lived cameos but the side needed more runs from them with the target so stiff.
Shaheen returned in his second spell and capitalised on the Zalmi batters looking for the big shots. He picked off Saad Masood, Wahab Riaz and Neesham with the older ball – his fifth five-for in T20s – to take the sting out of the contest, and Zalmi fell well short of the target despite a spirited batting performance, finishing on 201 for 9.
Overall, it was a day to forget for bowlers, conceding 441 runs in 40 overs. Zalmi’s Arshad Iqbal (0 for 28) and the Qalandars pair of Zaman Khan (2 for 28) and Haris Rauf (1 for 38) were the only three bowlers to finish with single-digit bowling economies.