Dwayne Smith’s solo fight for Zalmi in vain

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PSL 2018

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[File photo] – Dwayne Smith rescued Peshawar Zalmi from early trouble, but that wasn’t enough © Getty

Dwayne Smith’s unbeaten 71 went in vain as Karachi Kings registered a comfortable win over Peshawar Zalmi – their second on the bounce in the ongoing season of Pakistan Super League.

Electing to bat after winning the toss, Zalmi were in trouble after the openers departed. After a quickfire start provided by Kamran Akmal, the run rate fell quickly in the latter half of the powerplay. However, it was the flurry of wickets in the middle overs which derailed Peshawar’s innings completely. Smith became a mere spectator to a procession from the other end as the No. 4 to No. 11 batsmen managed a cumulative score of only 28 runs.

Mohammad Amir and Shahid Afridi struck twice each during this period. And if that wasn’t helping much, the batsmen also created a bit of hara-kiri in the middle with three of them returning to the dugout after being run out.

By the 16th over, Peshawar were reduced to 79 for 8, with Tymal Mills dismissing No. 9 Chris Jordan. It was at that point that Smith decided to take matters into his own hands and in company of the last two batsmen – Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Asghar – took the aggressive route. With the help of four boundaries and five sixes, he powered his way to his 17th T20 half century and helped Zalmi to a respectable 131 for 9. He remained unbeaten on a 51-ball 71.

For Karachi Kings, the chase seemed like an easy road for most parts despite losing opener Khurram Manzoor in the second over of the innings. The platform for their chase was laid by Joe Denly and Babar Azam, who combined to avert the early danger with calculated strokeplay and added 41 runs for the second wicket.

Legspinner Ibtisam Sheikh and Jordan struck at regular intervals, managing four scalps between them, but handy contributions by the Karachi middle-order batters proved quite effective as they went about the chase. The only real scare for Kings came following the penultimate over by Umaid Asif, where the 33-year old pacer conceded only a solitary run, apart from a legbye, bringing the equation down to 5 runs from last six balls.

Asghar, bowling the final over, started off well, conceding only two runs off the first two deliveries before getting Rizwan to hole out to Jordan at long off. However, Imad Wasim coming on to bat, took little time in finishing off the formalities, sending Asghar’s delivery for a first-ball six over wide long on.

Smith’s knock came in a losing cause, but Peshawar skipper Darren Sammy hailed the effort of his batsman and said, “At the toss I said anything around 150 would have been a good total. Credit to Dwayne, he gave us a game to play. We didn’t bat in partnerships. If you take out Dwayne’s score, don’t think anyone got good figures. The pitch was one where if you hit good lengths, you could ask questions. Proud of the guys to take it into the last few balls. Weren’t up to scratch.”

Brief Scores: Peshawar Zalmi 131/9 in 20 overs (Dwayne Smith 71*; Mohammad Amir 2-6, Shahid Afridi 2-22) lost to Karachi Kings 135/5 in 19.4 overs (Joe Denly 29, Babar Azam 28; Ibtisam Sheikh 2-25, Chris Jordan 2-29) by 5 wickets

© Cricbuzz

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