By AZ Aamir
KARACHI: Wahab Riaz and Tom Kohler-Cadmore did well as Peshawar Zalmi surged to the summit of the points table when they downed two-time champions Islamabad United by six wickets in their fourth round fixture of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 here at National Stadium on Saturday night.
Wahab (4-17) produced the best figures of his PSL career to enable Zalmi to fold United for only 118.
Kent-born 26-year old Kohler-Cadmore then hammered run-a-ball 46 and Haider Ali belted explosive 18-ball 36 as Zalmi chased the target with 17 balls to spare after losing four wickets.
This is the third straight win from Zalmi and they now lead the points table with six points from four outings.
After losing a couple of early wickets, Kohler-Cadmore and Shoaib Malik added 63 off 64 balls for the third wicket association to put Zalmi in the driving seat. Kohler-Cadmore fell prey to the Australian leggie Fawad Ahmed (1-40), held by keeper Phil Salt, after hitting four fours and two sixes. When Kohler fell Zalmi were 69-3 in the 13th over.
Young Haider then dominated a 47-run fourth-wicket stand with Shoaib Malik before Hasan Ali getting rid of the former when Zalmi were just three runs shy of a well-deserved win.
Haider smacked three sixes and three fours in his entertaining knock. Malik remained not out on 30-ball 29, striking one six and one four. Sherfane Rutherford made six not out. Earlier, defending a low total Islamabad United had a bright start as Hasan Ali got rid of Imam-ul-Haq (0) in the first over of the innings before Mohammad Wasim (1-26) sending Kamran Akmal (3), trapped lbw, in the next over, to leave Zalmi struggling at 6-2 in two overs. Kamran faced four balls.
Earlier it was a pathetic display from the United’s batsmen. Only English player Alex Hales once again showed his class, striking a 27-ball 41 to prevent United from real destruction.
After being invited to bat Islamabad United had a disastrous start. Left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz bowled Irish Test cricketer Paul Sterling (1) off his fourth ball of the innings. English pacer Saqib Mahmood soon afterwards got rid of out-of-form Australian batsman Phil Salt (9), clean bowled, with a fine in-swinger. Salt hit one four from 11 balls. Umaid Asif, the right-armer, playing his first game, then had Faheem Ashraf (2), held at mid-wicket by Kohler-Cadmore before skipper Shadab Khan getting run out for a five-ball six while taking a single that left United gasping at 55-4 in seven overs.
Shadab struck one four. Alex Hales, who had opened the innings with Sterling, batted aggressively, hitting five fours and one six in his fantastic 41, before being removed by Saqib Mahmood, held by Imam-ul-Haq in the deep.
Alex, who kept United’s run-rate decent, clobbered five fours and one six in his fantastic feat.
Afghanistan’s spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rehman then got rid of Hussain Talat (22) to leave United at 86-6 in the 12th over. The left-hander went for a reverse sweep to a delivery that pitched up, but took on his pad. Zalmi took a review which confirmed that Talat had to go. Talat hit two fours in his 15-ball knock. Iftikhar (7) also failed to give respite to his side and was held in the deep by Kohler-Cadmore off Wahab Riaz.
Wahab Riaz then got rid of Asif Ali, held by Shoaib Malik in the deep, to pile-up further misery on the United.
Asif hit two sixes in his 12-ball 19. Wahab then removed Hasan Ali (7), trapped lbw, before Saqib Mahmood took the wicket of Mohammad Wasim (1) to fold United in 17.1 overs.
This is also the third lowest total from United in the PSL history. Wahab was ably backed by English pacer Saqib Mahmood who finished with 3-12 in 2.1 overs. Wahab Riaz was declared as man of the match for his glorious bowling. Zalmi made one change in their side which beat Quetta Gladiators by three wickets on Friday by replacing discarded international Mohammad Irfan with Umaid Asif.
United made two changes by bringing in Australian leggie Fawad Ahmad and Paul Sterling in place of Lewis Gregory and Zafar Gohar.