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Pollard’s blitz helps Kings crush Zalmi

By Asher Butt
February 22, 2024

LAHORE: Karachi Kings thrashed Peshawar Zalmi by convincing seven wickets in their HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2024 encounter despite Babar Azam’s heroics here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Cricketer Kieron Pollard of Karachi Kings can be seen while playing shot. — Facebook/Karachi Kings
Cricketer Kieron Pollard of Karachi Kings can be seen while playing shot. — Facebook/Karachi Kings

Babar’s masterclass with the bat proved insufficient as Karachi Kings surpassed Peshawar Zalmi’s 153 by hammering 157 for three in 16.5 overs with 19 balls to spare. In the initial moments of the second innings, Karachi were going even to Peshawar’s score but Kieron Pollard smacked 27 runs in the 15th over, bowled by Waqar Salamkheil, to set an easy path for win.

Before Pollard, seasoned campaigner Shoaib Malik and James Vince slowly but steadily built Karachi Kings innings. They produced 51 runs for the fourth wicket in 36 balls. Luke Wood was instrumental in taking the first two Karachi wickets of Shan Masood and Mohammad Akhlaq while Waqar Salamkheil snared Malik. Shan contributed 12 and Akhlaq 24.

Malik for his 29-ball stay at the crease made 29 with the help of a six and a four. When Pollard entered, Karachi were at 91 for three in 12.1 overs. Pollard and Vince developed a match-winning unbeaten fifth wicket 66-run partnership. Pollard hit 21-ball 49 laced with four sixes and as many fours while Vince in his 38 that came in 30 balls timed three fours and a six.

Babar Azam’s remarkable 72 runs played a pivotal role in steering Peshawar Zalmi score to 154. The Karachi Kings’ bowlers, spearheaded by Mir Hamza and Hasan Ali, showcased exceptional prowess by keeping Peshawar Zalmi silent for the majority of the innings. Mir Hamza, in particular, delivered a standout performance with figures of 3/28, putting immense pressure on the Zalmi batting lineup.

Babar, notching up his 84th half-century, exhibited exceptional skills and resilience. His innings was crucial in stabilising the Zalmis’ innings, especially after early blows that left Peshawar Zalmi reeling at 40 for three in 5.1 overs. Babar, along with Rovman Powell, constructed a crucial 68-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

However, at 136, Peshawar Zalmi faced a collapse. Asif Ali, Aamir Jamal, Mohammad Zeeshan, Luke Wood, and Waqar Salamkeil fell successively.

Mir Hamza and Hasan Ali, with their disciplined bowling, played a crucial role in restricting Peshawar Zalmi’s total. Hasan Ali, particularly effective in his first spell, showcased accuracy on the off-stump channel. Daniel Sams contributed with two crucial wickets, while Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Nawaz chipped in with one wicket each.