Shadab leads Islamabad United to victory over Peshawar Zalmi

LAHORE   -  All-round performance by Shad­ab Khan led Islamabad United to a 29-run victory over Peshawar Zalmi in the 20th match of the HBL PSL 9 at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Monday night. 

Peshawar Zalmi’s innings got off to a rocky start, with early wickets tumbling within the powerplay. Saim Ayub, Babar Azam, and Mohammad Haris were dismissed cheaply, leav­ing Zalmi reeling at 3-3. Despite a brief fightback led by Tom Kohler-Cadmore and a resil­ient stand by Paul Walter, it was Aamer Jamal’s explosive 87 off 49 balls that became the high­light of Zalmi’s batting effort. 

However, the mounting pres­sure from United’s bowlers, spearheaded by Shadab him­self, kept the run chase in check, restricting Peshawar Zalmi to 167-9. Shadab’s bowling fig­ures of 3-41 from his four overs were instrumental in disrupting Zalmi’s batting lineup. Hunain Shah and Rumman Raees also made significant contributions, taking two wickets apiece and maintaining tight lines to stifle Zalmi’s run flow. 

Earlier, United’s captain Shad­ab Khan delivered a masterclass innings of 80 runs, steering his side to a formidable total of 196- 4. Peshawar Zalmi, opting to ball first, made an immediate impact with Saim Ayub dismissing Alex Hales on the very first delivery of the match. The early setback did little to deter Colin Munro, who responded with a quick six and a four in the following over. However, Ayub’s persistence paid off, claiming Munro’s wick­et shortly after. 

Faced with a challenging situ­ation at 28-2, United’s resilience was on full display as Shadab alongside Salman Agha, mount­ed a recovery. The duo crafted a 65-run partnership, lifting the team’s morale and scoreboard to 90 runs by the halfway mark. Although Salman Irshad man­aged to dismiss Agha for a val­iant 37, the momentum firmly remained with United. 

Shadab then found an able partner in Jordan Cox, and togeth­er they added 68 runs to the tally. Dominating the bowlers, Shadab’s innings was a spectacle, adorned with 10 boundaries, including six maximums, before Luke Wood fi­nally halted his charge. 

In the final overs, Azam Khan’s explosive 29 off just 14 balls, featuring four boundaries and a six, provided the perfect finish, pushing the score to an impos­ing 196-4. Jordan Cox, contrib­uting a steady 26 not out, played a crucial role in ensuring the team’s strong finish. For Zalmi, Saim Ayub captured 2-15 while Luke Wood and Salman Irshad got one wicket each.

Azhar Khan is an accomplished senior sports journalist with extensive experience in the field. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @azharmasood786

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