LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Shaheen Shah Afridi took five wickets and Lahore Qalandars’ top-order scored heavily as the defending champions beat Peshawar Zalmi by 40 runs in the Pakistan Super League on Sunday.
Tayyab Tahir earlier made an impressive debut in the PSL with a half century that lifted Karachi Kings to a 66-run victory over first-place Multan Sultans, which was playing its first away game this season after winning four home matches.
In a record-breaking PSL game — with 28 sixes — Afridi (5-40) dominated with his left-arm swing bowling after Fakhar Zaman (96), Abdullah Shafique (75) and Sam Billings (47 not out) had propelled Lahore to 241-3.
Afridi won the much-awaited PSL duel against one of the world’s best batters, Peshawar captain Babar Azam (7), as he clean bowled Pakistan’s all-format skipper with a sharp delivery that cut back and knocked over the stumps.
But Tom Kohler-Cadmore (55) and Saim Ayub (51) both hit brisk half centuries and took Peshawar to 119-1 midway through their chase.
However, both batters fell in successive overs with Kohler-Cadmore chipping an easy catch to Afridi at mid-off against Haris Rauf’s slower delivery, and Saim was brilliantly snapped by a diving Abdullah in the deep off Rashid Khan.
Fast bowler Zaman Khan (2-28) then ended Peshawar’s slim hopes with the wickets of Bhanuka Rajapaksa (24) and Rowman Powell (20) in one over before Afridi grabbed three wickets in his two-over return spell to restrict Peshawar to 201-9 in its 20 overs.
Earlier, Peshawar fast bowler Wahab Riaz (2-45) bowled brilliantly in the powerplay and gave away only seven runs in his two overs that restricted Lahore to 36-1 before Fakhar and Abdullah cut loose and combined in a 120-run stand.
Riaz broke that stand when Abdullah, playing his first game this season, was caught at deep point. However, Fakhar continued the acceleration as he smashed 10 sixes and three fours before missing out on a century by giving an easy catch in the covers in the 18th over.
Billings had an escape early in his whirlwind knock when Lahore didn’t go for a caught-behind television referral. TV replays suggested the batter had gloved James Neesham’s short ball to the wicketkeeper.
With its third win in four games, third-place Lahore is behind Islamabad United on net run-rate. Peshawar slipped to fifth in the six-team league on net run-rate behind Karachi, which has four points from six matches after a massive win against Multan.
Tayyab’s brilliant 65 off 46 balls propelled Karachi to 167-3 as he shared a 109-run stand with Matthew Wade, who made a nearly run-a-ball 46.
Multan was bowled out for 101 in 16.3 overs with Shoaib Malik (3-16) and left-arm South African spinner Tabraiz Shamsi (3-18) doing most of the damage.
James Vince provided Karachi with a whirlwind start by smashing two sixes and three fours in his blistering knock of 27 off 12 balls before he skied a catch to David Miller at mid-on after Multan captain Mohammad Rizwan won the toss and elected to field.
Tayyab and Wade then raised a century stand before both perished in fast bowler Ihsanullah’s return spell in the late overs.
Ihsanullah, the leading wicket-taker in the tournament, raised his tally to 14 in six games when he had Tayyab trapped leg before wicket off a delivery that slanted into the right-hander before uprooting Wade’s offstump with a pacey ball that was clocked at 151.4 kph.
Rizwan (29) and Shan Masood (25) provided Multan with a steady start of 41 off 30 balls before Karachi went for a successful referral against Masood after he edged fast bowler Akif Javed and the umpire ruled in the batter’s favor.
Malik had in-form Rilee Rossouw (7) clean bowled before holding onto a catch at mid-on as Miller (7) tried a big hit against Shamsi.
Tayyab then grabbed a stunning flying catch at point to dismiss Rizwan, who tried to play Malik on the leg side but got a leading edge in the 11th over.
Multan lost its last seven wickets for 31 runs against some disciplined Karachi bowling.
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