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PSL 2017 Final Review: Clinical Peshawar Zalmi steamroll Quetta Gladiators to win one-sided finals

Peshawar Zalmi
Peshawar Zalmi. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Lahore was all set to host the all-important final clash of the second edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Arguably the two best teams of the tournament – Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi – were the ones locking horns for the ultimate glory. The match was expected to be well beyond the normalcy of a T20 league final. Pakistan saw cricket of an international standard game of sorts after 7 years of desolation. A successful finale meant a possible route for international cricket to seep back in the Pakistani homeland.

Coming to the ultimate clash, both teams had a good history coming in to the match. In one of the fixtures that they played in the league stage, it turned out to be a washed out affair. The next time they met, the Zalmis had the top say riding on Shahid Afridi’s heroics. Then came the important encounter of the 1st Qualifying Final. A run riot led by Ahmed Shehzad saw Quetta take the honors. Now, after 23 nail-biting and thrilling matches this season, the stage was set for the top teams to compete yet again.

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Coming in to the match, the Quetta Gladiators had the first major say when they won the toss and opted to field first. They were unlucky to have missed out on the services of the overseas players who had turned up for them throughout the season but the finals. They fielded a refurbished unit that comprised of Morne Van Wyk, Anamul Haque, Sean Ervine and Rayad Emrit as their four overseas players for the match.

The Peshawar Zalmi, on the other hand, were the lucky chaps as all their key overseas players including skipper Darren Sammy had agreed to play in the finals at Lahore. They went in with the settled overseas quartet of Dawid Malan, Marlon Samuels and Chris Jordan in addition to Sammy.

In walked Malan and centurion of the previous match Kamran Akmal to open the innings for Peshawar side. Both of them got off to a flying start with over 30 runs added well inside the three overs of the game. Rayad Emrit, who was playing his first match of the season, got the first breakthrough for Gladiators when he cleaned up Malan for 17 in the 5th over. Marlon Samuels was the new man in as Akmal continued his run riot at the other end. With 52 runs in the powerplay, the ideal start was there for the taking.

Also read – Twitter goes berserk ahead of the PSL final

It was in the 10th over when the in-form Akmal was trapped lbw by Hasan Khan on 40 that came off 32 deliveries with 6 fours and a six. At the half way stage, the Zalmis still looked poised for a late launch with 82/2. Marlon Samuels perished on 19 (17) soon after as Mohammad Nawaz got through his defenses. Mohammad Hafeez and Khushdil Shah were the two new men at the crease. Khushdil’s stay was cut short on 1 by Hasan Khan to get Iftikhar Ahmed at the crease.

Hafeez (12) and Iftikhar (14) could not add much to the total and the innings dwindled at a time when it was expected to take off. It was a late onslaught of an unbeaten 28 off mere 11 deliveries with a four and 3 sixes from Darren Sammy that took Peshawar Zalmi to 148/6 in their 20 overs. The target was definitely not enough but it did require some chasing to do. Rayad Emrit was the pick of the bowlers with 3/30 to his name.

The new look Quetta side had an uphill task to do but they definitely backed themselves to get over the line on the day. However, what perspired was a rather predictable story. All their core overseas players in the match had their first taste of the tournament on the final day. Morne Van Wyk and Ahmed Shehzad came in to open the innings. In a horrific mix up, Van Wyk perished on 1 in the very first over. Anamul Haque came in at number three but could score only 3 before Mohammad Asghar had him caught by Chris Jordan.

Also read – PSL 2017: Zalmi players to go bald on winning – Darren Sammy

Sarfraz Ahmed, the new man in, hoped that Shehzad would play the anchor role for the Gladiators. But that wasn’t the case either. Shehzad’s departure on 1 after being dismissed by Hasan Ali saw the Gladiators stutter at 13/3 in the 5th over. Things got from bad to worse after Sarfraz (22 off 11 deliveries), who looked good with five classic boundaries, was stumped off the bowling of Mohammad Hafeez. Sean Ervine (24 off 19 balls) and Anawat Ali (20 off 24 balls) got starts but could not quite capitalise on those starts.

Wickets kept tumbling and the clear winner for the match could be well determined. At 81/8 in 14.4 overs, things were only a formality for the Zalmis. The Gladiators could never really claw back in the match and eventually bundled out for a mere 90 runs in 16.3 overs. With that, the Peshawar Zalmi had created a piece of history by winning the finals at Lahore by 58 runs. Mohammad Asghar was the star of the bowling with 3/16 to his name and was well assisted by Hasan Ali and Wahab Riaz, who bagged 2 wickets each on the night.

With that, some brilliant T20 action from the PSL came to an end for this year. Hope to see some more great entertainment from the Pakistani soil next year!

Brief Scores:

Peshawar Zalmi 148/6 in 20 overs (Kamran 40, Sammy 28*, Emrit 3/30, Hasan 2/34)

Quetta Gladiators 90/10 in 16.3 overs (Ervine 24, Sarfraz 22, Asghar 3/16, Hasan 2/13)

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