Arif Yaqoob, Luke Wood’s brilliant bowling hand Peshawar Zalmi 5-run win over Multan Sultans

Arif Yaqoob, Luke Wood’s brilliant bowling hand Peshawar Zalmi 5-run win over Multan Sultans

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Peshawar Zalmi got the better of mighty Multan Sultans in their backyard as they registered a five-run win over the home team after a thrilling game played on Friday night at Multan Cricket Stadium. Luke Wood, player of the match, played a vital role both with the bat and ball for Zalmi. Multan Sultans meanwhile lost their first game of the tournament after winning their first three games.

Multan Sultans’ chase of 180-run total began with an early dent when skipper Mohammad Rizwan copped a three-ball duck as Wood drew first blood for his team. Yasir Khan, promoted to open the batting in this game, stitched a watchful 45-run second-wicket partnership with Reeza Hendricks.

Salman Irshad bringing an end to Yasir’s (43, 37b, 6x4s) outing meant that experienced Dawid Malan joined Hendricks in the middle, with the required rate creeping above 10.

Malan departed for 52 off 25 balls after contributing to a 70-run third-wicket partnership. In the following over, Salman landed a yorker from hell as he breached Hendricks’ (28, 27b, 2x4s) defenses to rattle his stumps.

Drama ensued in the 17th over with Sultans needing 50 off four overs. Babar Azam brought debutant Arif Yaqoob for the last over of his spell. On the second ball, he dismissed Khushdil for just five. Usama Mir dramatically hit the next two balls for towering sixes only to get caught on the following ball at deep midwicket.

David Willey, the next batter in, hit the last ball of Arif’s over towards cow corner, where sub-fielder Dan Mousley took a brilliant catch on the edge of the boundary.

Wood returned to deliver a fine penultimate over, removing Abbas Afridi for 11 off six while only giving away two runs. Multan required 22 off the last over with Iftikhar Ahmed on strike.

Iftikhar, for a moment looked well on the course to repeat his heroics from the last game, but fell on the penultimate delivery, after hitting two fours and one six. With six needed on the final ball, Shahnawaz Dahani went for a heave but found his stumps rattled by Naveen.

Arif was the pick of the bowlers with three scalps while Wood, Naveen and Salman chipped in two wickets each. Paul Walter returned with one wicket.

Earlier, Peshawar’s skipper Babar won the toss and elected to bat first. The opening batters got off to a steady start before Saim Ayub succumbed to Shahnawaz, caught at deep square for a rusty 11-ball seven. Zalmi finished the powerplay with 46 runs on the board for the loss of a solitary wicket.

After Babar and Haseebullah Khan took it upon themselves to keep the run flow intact, Usama struck in the ninth over, castling Zalmi skipper’s stumps. The duo put on a 46-run second-wicket partnership before Babar departed for 31 off 26 balls, which included five fours as well.

Haseebullah, playing his first HBL PSL 9 game, looked in sublime touch but Usama outfoxed him as well after he raced to 37 off 18 balls, comprising four boundaries and two sixes.

Paul Walter (16, 8b, 2x4s, 1×6), who chipped in with a cameo was undone by Willey in the 13th over while Mohammad Haris departed for a run-a-ball 19 in the 15th over.

Rovman Powell contributed a quickfire 23 off 11 balls, including three fours and a six, before Willey dismissed him as well. Asif Ali returned for a 13 off 10. Wood’s unbeaten contribution of 17 on 12, comprising a six and a four each, helped Peshawar finish 179-8 after 20 overs.

Among the Multan bowlers Ali, Willey and Usama bagged two wickets each. Shahnawaz and Abbas chipped in with one wicket each.

Scores in brief:

Peshawar Zalmi beat Multan Sultans by five runs

Peshawar Zalmi 179-8, 20 overs (Haseebullah Khan 37, Babar Azam 31; Mohammad Ali 2-23, David Willey 2-28, Usama Mir 2-36)

Multan Sultans 174 all out, 20 overs (Dawid Malan 52, Yasir Khan 43; Arif Yaqoob 3-43, Luke Wood 2-13, Salman Irshad 2-39, Naveen-ul-Haq 2-44)

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