PSL 9: Zalmi set challenging 179/8 against Sultans

Peshawar Zalmi's batters rallied to post a competitive score of 179/8 in the ninth encounter of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) Season 9 against the league-leading Multan Sultans at the Multan Cricket Stadium on Friday. 

Choosing to bat first, Zalmi's lineup showcased depth and determination, navigating through the Sultans' bowling attacks to set a formidable target. Despite facing consistent pressure and losing wickets at crucial intervals, the Zalmi batters managed to maintain a healthy run rate throughout their innings. The innings was off to a cautious start before Saim Ayub was caught by Hendricks off Shahnawaz Dahani's bowling for 7, setting the stage for a middle-order resurgence.  

Babar Azam and Haseebullah Khan then took the reins, contributing significant knocks of 31 and 37 runs respectively. Babar's innings included five boundaries, showcasing his class and timing, while Haseebullah's quickfire 37 off just 18 balls, peppered with four fours and two sixes, injected momentum into Zalmi's innings. 

Mohammad Haris and Paul Walter added valuable runs in the middle order, with Haris scoring 19 before being caught by Usama Mir off the bowling of Mohammad Ali, and Walter contributing a solid 16 before falling to David Willey. The explosive Rovman Powell then stepped in, smashing 23 runs off 11 balls, including three boundaries and a six, before being caught by Iftikhar Ahmed off Willey's bowling. Asif Ali and Luke Wood added crucial runs towards the end, with Wood remaining unbeaten at 17, propelling Zalmi to a challenging total. 

On the bowling front, the Sultans showcased a balanced attack. David Willey and Mohammad Ali each bagged a pair of wickets, with Willey's spell proving particularly economical. Usama Mir also made significant contributions, taking two wickets for 36 runs. Shahnawaz Dahani and Abbas Afridi chipped in with a wicket each, though Afridi proved to be expensive, conceding 48 runs. 

Peshawar Zalmi 179/8 in 20 overs (Haseebullah Khan 37, Babar Azam 31, Rovman Powell 23; Mohammad Ali 2-23, David Willey 2-28) vs Multan Sultans.

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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