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June 23, 2021

Zazai’s thunderous knock helps Zalmi dethrone Kings

 
June 23, 2021

KARACHI: Peshawar Zalmi on Monday night dethroned Karachi Kings when they defeated them by five wickets thanks to a stunning fire-work from young Afghan left-handed opener Hazratullah Zazai.

Zazai hammered a 38-ball 77 as Zalmi chased the 176-run target off the penultimate ball after losing five wickets.

Earlier, Babar Azam (53) and Thisara Perera (37) did well with the willow as Kings posted 175-7 in the allotted 20 overs.

Zazai’s lusty hitting had made things easier for Zalmi. However, midway through their innings, Kings’ bowlers staged a remarkable recovery and put some pressure on Zalmi. From the last over, bowled by Mohammad Ilyas, Zalmi needed seven runs. Kings’ fielders dropped Sherfane Rutherford twice and consequently lost the match.

The player of the match Hazratullah Zazai’s whirlwind 77 set the tone for Zalmi’s successful chase of 176. The Afghan opener smashed ten fours and spanked five sixes in 38 balls. He stitched an opening partnership of 49 with Kamran Akmal (13 off 12) and then added 43 more runs with Imam-ul-Haq, who fell for a 17-ball 11. In both alliances he took the lead role and made sure that Kings’ bowlers remained on the defensive. When he became Perera’s second wicket, Zalmi had accumulated 103 runs in 11.3 overs.

Shoaib Malik provided support in the middle-order with his 30 off 25, before Sherfane Rutherford (17 not out off 10) sealed the win.

Zalmi’s pacers Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan and Umaid Asif shared six wickets. The seventh wicket was taken by Mohammad Imran as Kings were restricted to 175-7.

Babar Azam scored his seventh half-century of the edition after Wahab decided to bowl. Kings’ wickets fell at regular intervals after Sharjeel Khan (26 off 20) was dismissed in the sixth over. Babar struggled to find the desired support from the other end.