Islamabad United may have used data to predict and prepare for a variety of scenarios prior to their HBL Pakistan Super League Eliminator match against Peshawar Zalmi, but it would have been too much to ask for them to predict that Aamer Jamal and Salman Irshad would go on to bowl a variety of flawless yorkers in the dying overs.
On Thursday night at the Gaddafi Stadium, Alex Hales and Sohaib Maqsood were set on their respective creases after reaching their respective half-centuries, and United was cruising in their chase of a challenging 184-run total.
Peshawar Zalmi went through 1st Eliminator
Nevertheless, as Aamer and Salman began to strike the target at the beginning of the 15th over, the momentum began to shift against the two-time winners. To help Zalmi defeat United by 12 runs and secure a matchup against Lahore Qalandars in the second Eliminator, the pair shared four wickets, all of which saw the stumps fly and the bails flicker.
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After the game, he stated, “We qualified for the playoffs, but as a team we weren’t ideal, which is why we haven’t made it to the final. “We had a chance to place in the top two places. Aamer returned to bowl when United needed 56 runs off the final six overs.
Aamer was able to get through the gates to castle Sohaib as he exposed his stumps to go for another huge shot, breaking the right-77-ball, hander’s 115-run partnership with Hales. Sohaib had struck 60 off 48 balls with seven fours and two sixes
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As the batter failed to produce a superb in-swinging yorker, it was Salman’s turn to wreck the lumber. He selected the oncoming Azam Khan to prey on with his slingy motion. The ball reversed and landed near Hales’ toes before inflicting harm, causing Aamer to smash his stumps (57 off 37).
As Faheem Ashraf got into a mix-up with Colin Munro at the other end and Salman successfully targeted the stumps once more in the 17th over to run-out the left-hander, Salman essentially ended the game for United when Munro flicked a short ball by him onto his stumps.
With nine more balls to go, the Zalmi players immediately appeared ecstatic as Munro’s was the final United wicket to fall. The Peshawar team successfully completed the task thanks in large part to the continuous reminders from coach Darren Sammy and captain Babar Azam to maintain composure.
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The middle overs saw the ball reverse, and our bowlers extremely well altered their length, according to Babar. “There is always opportunity for improvement, and we will discuss the errors. We must bowl well in the first six overs to prevent the other team from gaining momentum.
With Sohaib and Hales’ performance, which began after Zalmi struck first and pacer Azmatullah Omarzai defeated starter Rahmanullah Gurbaz, United must have been unhappy to lose the match.
Hales hoisted experienced bowler Wahab Riaz for a six and smashed him through the covers for two straight boundaries before Sohaib took on Omarzai for two more and a six in the fourth over after hitting two boundaries earlier.
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By the end of the powerplay, Sohaib had whipped Aamer for four more runs and smacked the pacer over the covers for six more, bringing United’s score to 67-1.
Only 10 runs were scored for United in the next over when Hales broke the deadlock with a high and long six off Jimmy Neesham’s medium speed over deep cover and hammered the New Zealander straight down the ground for four more as the team reached 96-1 at the halfway point.
With a pullover midwicket off Wahab, Sohaib reached his fifty in 39 balls. Then, Hales attacked the left-armer for another boundary. Before Salman and Aamer caused havoc, Hales reached his half-century in 28 balls by hitting two fours off Mujeeb-ur-spin. Rehman’s
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Babar displayed elegance and grace after being given the opportunity to bat earlier for Zalmi. The right-39-ball hander’s 64, which included 10 fours, was the result of some technically excellent shots.
As Saim Ayub, his opening partner, started off unexpectedly erratic, Babar showed impeccable skill as the openers hit three boundaries off the speed of Fazal Haq Farooqi and Faheem in the first two overs.
Saim rediscovered his touch to find the boundary on the leg side three times with the help of some errant bowling from Farooqi and fellow fast Hasan Ali, and Babar then blasted Hasan through the covers for four more runs.
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Saim mishandled a drive and was caught at mid-on to break the 60-run partnership after Babar had skillfully cut quick bowler Mohammad Wasim beyond point for another boundary.
Nevertheless, the newly arrived Haseebullah got things going with a drive through the covers for four. Babar then twice dragged Hasan for two more boundaries before Haseebullah hit another, and by the end of the powerplay, Zalmi had posted 77-1.
While Haseebullah was stumped in the ninth over after Shadab’s entrance, Babar was unaffected. He took a single two overs later to reach fifty in only 28 balls after using his footwork expertly to blast the spinner past the offside for two more boundaries.
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After Mohammad Haris played a ramp shot and drove the bowler over the covers for two fours, Shadab came under fire once again. Shadab caught Babar lbw with the final ball of his four-over delivery after being struck for 40 earlier.
After clearing midwicket off Hasan in the following over and making a mistaken attempt to go big by getting caught in the deep, Haris (34 off 17) followed Babar. The dismissal slowed Zalmi considerably, and it was evident when Neesham was run out before Aamer in the 18th over by Farooqi.
Omarzai’s (10 off 6) late cameo lifted Zalmi to a total, nevertheless, which ultimately turned out to be just enough for them.
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