Kings down Zalmi to pull off first win

By our correspondent
LAHORE: Karachi Kings locked their first win of HBL PSL 9 after they defeated Peshawar Zalmi by seven wickets at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Wednesday afternoon. Fast bowling duo of Hasan Ali and Mir Hamza accounted for three wickets each as Zalmi were restricted to 154 in the first innings. In return, an unbeaten knock by Kieron Pollard helped Kings complete the target with considerable ease.
The second match of the day is set to be played between Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars at Multan Cricket Stadium. The first ball is expected to be bowled at 7pm.
At Gaddafi Stadium, after they opted to bowl first, Shoaib Malik provided an ideal start for the Kings, bagging a wicket at the expense of just three runs in the first over as opening batter Saim Ayub copped a golden duck on the first ball of the day.
In the second over, Babar Azam became the fastest and the youngest batter to complete 10,000 T20 runs; taking only 271 innings to do so. The right-handed batter reached the feat after hitting a four and then running two while facing left-arm pacer Mir Hamza.
Mohammad Nawaz conceded 16 in the third over courtesy of three boundaries as Zalmi looked to charge after the early setback. On the first ball of the next over, Mohammad Haris (6, 7b, 1×4) miscued a shot which landed straight in Pollard’s hand at long-off, bringing Zalmi down to 26-2 in 3.1 overs.
Trouble deepened for Peshawar Zalmi in the last over of the powerplay as Hasan Ali struck on the first ball to take out Tom Kohler-Cadmore for just two off three. On the first delivery of the 12th over, Babar smashed a magnificent six over long-on to bring up his second consecutive fifty.
In the next over, Nawaz broke the 68-run stand between Babar and Rovman Powell as the latter awarded an easy catch to Hamza. Powell walked back for a 39 on 25, including three boundaries and two maximums.
Asif Ali added a brisk 23 on 16 with a six and a four before falling to Daniel Sams. Shortly after, Aamir Jamal could only score a run before he was caught at cover by Shan off Hamza.
In the same over, Hamza got his third of the day as he claimed the prized scalp of Babar, who walked back for 72 off 51, including seven boundaries and one maximum. Then, Hasan picked up the last two wickets in the final over to dismiss Zalmi for just 154.
Hamza, who bagged three wickets at the expense of just 28 runs in his four over, was adjudged player of the match. He was supported by Hasan, who picked up three wickets as well. Sams had two while Shoaib and Nawaz also removed a batter each.
Shan and Muhammad Akhlaq, opening for Karachi Kings, amassed 20 in the first two overs to mount pressure on the opposition. Luke Wood countered their attack squarely as he dismissed Shan on the second ball of the third over.
In his subsequent over, Wood had Akhlaq caught behind for a quickfire 24 off 13 balls, on the back of three fours and two sixes.
James Vince and Shoaib built a gritty 51-run stand to bring stability to the innings. The partnership was eventually cut short by Waqar Salamkheil, who sent Shoaib walking back for run-a-ball 29, including a four and a six.
Pollard, the next batter in, announced himself on the crease with a stunning maximum over long-on. In the 15th over, he took Waqar for 27 overs on the back of three maximums and two boundaries to completely clinch the game for his team.
From the other end, Vince chipped in with crucial runs, finishing at an unbeaten 38 from 30, including three fours and one maximum.
A boundary each by Vince and Pollard in the 17th over saw Karachi Kings complete the target with seven wickets in the bag and 19 deliveries remaining.
Wood accounted for two wickets while Waqar bagged one wicket.
Pollard, with his unbeaten knock of 49 from 21 which included four boundaries and as many maximums, finished as the top-scorer for Kings.

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