Peshawar Zalmi thwart Lahore Qalandars’ bid for first PSL 9 victory

LAHORE   -  Rassie van der Dussen’s superb century proved insufficient as Peshawar Zalmi edged out Lahore Qalandars by eight runs in the 12th match of the HBL Paki­stan Super League (PSL) 9 at Gaddafi Stadium on Sunday. Tasked with chasing an imposing target of 212, the Qalandars’ quest for their inaugural win of the PSL 9 season fell agonizingly short, despite van der Dussen’s valiant unbeaten knock. The match began unfavorably for the home team, with openers Sahibzada Farhan and Fakhar Zaman dismissed early, leaving the team struggling at 38/2 in just 4.4 overs. 

A pivotal partnership emerged as Shai Hope joined forces with van der Dussen, contributing a critical 71 runs for the third wicket in a swift 47 deliv­eries. Hope’s stint included a four and a six, culminating in a 29 off 23 balls effort. Following Hope’s departure, van der Dussen found a brief ally in Ahsan Bhatti before Bhatti’s exit in the 17th over. 

Van der Dussen’s onslaught brought him to a century in the penultimate over, a feat achieved through a massive six off Naveen-ul-Haq, though his heroics couldn’t clinch the win for the Qalandars. He finished with an impressive 104 off 52 balls, decorated with seven fours and six sixes. Naveen-ul-Haq spearheaded Zalmi’s defense with two wickets, while Luke Wood, Paul Wal­ter, and Salman Irshad each took a wicket to contribute to the victory. 

Earlier, Zalmi’s batters set the stage with a commanding performance after being put into bat. Openers Babar Azam and Saim Ayub launched a formidable 136-run opening stand, with Ayub lead­ing the charge. Despite Azam’s dismissal for a near half-century by Shaheen Shah Afridi, Ayub and Rovman Powell kept the momentum going. 

Saim Ayub top-scored with an 88 off 55 deliveries, while Powell’s explosive 46 off 20 balls further bolstered Zalmi’s total. Shaheen Shah Afridi stood out for the Qalandars with his 3/33, showcas­ing his prowess amidst the batting on­slaught. Islamabad United will face Pe­shawar Zalmi today (Monday) at Gaddafi Stadium at 7:00 pm.

PESHAWAR ZALMI 211/4 20 overs
(Saim Ayub 88, Babar Azam 48, Rovman
Powell 46; Shaheen Afridi 3-33)
beat LAHORE QALANDARS 203/6 20
overs (R van der Dussen 104, Shai Hope
29; Naveen-ul-Haq 2-50) by 8 runs.
MULTAN SULTANS 180-4, 20 overs
(Reeza Hendricks 72, Mohammad Rizwan
51; Mohammad Amir 2-46) beat
QUETTA GLADIATORS 167-9, 20 overs
(Khawaja Nafay 36, Rilee Rossouw
30; Mohammad Ali 3-19, David Willey
3-37, Aftab Ibrahim 2-26) by 13 runs.

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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