Twitter Reactions: Rashid Khan and Shaheen Afridi shine as Qalandars start PSL 2021 on a winning note

Twitter Reactions: Rashid Khan and Shaheen Afridi shine as Qalandars start PSL 2021 on a winning note

Rashid Khan assumed the duty with the bat, whacking three fours and a six in his 15-ball 27 to guide them to a 4-wicket victory with 9 balls in hand.

Mohammed Hafeez and Rashid Khan
Mohammad Hafeez and Rashid Khan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Lahore Qalandars trounced the Peshawar Zalmi in the first clash of the day by 4 wickets courtesy of the all-round show from Rashid Khan and a sensational spell of fast bowling from Shaheen Afridi. After electing to field, Shaheen Afridi provided a dream start to Qalandars, delivering a wicket-maiden, and striking the first ball to dismiss Imam-ul-Haq, who poked at a delivery going away from him to edge it behind to the keeper.

In as a replacement for the injured Dilbar Hussain, Salman Mirza gave a double dent to the Zalmi in the powerplay as Kamran Akmal flicked one straight into the hands of deep midwicket and Haider Ali recorded a golden duck, edging Mirza to the keeper.

Two experienced pros in Shoaib Malik and Ravi Bopara tackled the bowlers for a brief while, infusing some life in a dead phase through a couple of good drives and flicks. Just when their innings got some momentum, Malik edged a David Weise delivery to the busy Ben Dunk, who took his third catch. Sensing that another wicket would be fatal, Ravi Bopara guarded his end and showed no panic even as the runs dried.

Bopara-Rutherford rebuild after early jitters

After a mundane passage of play, Sherfane Rutherford broke loose against Wiese, dispatching a slower delivery over long-on for a six right after Bopara had got a four off Ahmed Daniyal in the previous over. Rutherford smoked another six off Daniyal in the 14th over, before Rashid Khan came into the attack to put a lid on the scoring. Despite not accounting for a single wicket, Rashid leaked not a run more than 14 in his 4 over spell that had no boundaries.

After rebuilding the innings to some extent, Rutherford perished to Afridi’s yorker, soon after the duo had completed their 50-run alliance from 47 balls. Bopara acted as the glue for the Zalmi, hitting six fours in his 44-ball 50, before falling as Afridi’s third. Amad Butt’s lusty blows in the 16-run final over led the Zalmi to a competitive, though a sub-par total of 140.

Middle-order hiccups after a steady start

Despite breaching the security protocols and meeting the franchise owner outside the bio-security bubble, Wahab Riaz initiated the proceedings with the ball as the PCB allowed him and Daren Sammy to regroup with the team without undergoing the three-day quarantine after they tested negative for COVID-19 yesterday. The Qalandars made a far better start, with both Fakhar Zaman and Sohail Akhtar timing the ball well after getting their eyes in.

Zaman took the attack to Mahmood, slamming him for a six over midwicket before a cracking punch went to the boundary. Realizing that the pacers were not quite getting the breakthrough, the trick to employ Mujeeb ur Rahman into the attack paid immediate dividends as Akhtar hoicked him straight to long-on to bring his run-a-ball 14 to an end.

Fakhar Zaman departed to Wahab Riaz in the following over, as he sent the ball a mile up in the air before Shoaib Malik grabbed an impressive catch at short fine leg. Agha Salman played a few strokes, smashing Amad Butt for a couple of boundaries, however, Butt had the last laugh as Salman played on one in the 8th over, leaving his team in a tricky situation.

Rashid Khan show avoids any calamity

Ben Dunk provided the scoring a much-needed boost alongside Mohammad Hafeez, adding quick-fire 36 for the fourth wicket, although Wahab Riaz’s in-swinging yorker ricocheted off his pads straight into the stumps, ending his entertaining knock at 22.

Even as Hafeez continued to keep the scoring rate under check, the double-strike from Mahmood in the 16th over – he knocked over Samit Patel a ball before trapping Weise lbw – raised hopes in the Zalmi camp. However, their legendary spinner Rashid Khan assumed the duty with the bat, whacking three fours and a six in his 15-ball 27 to guide them to a 4-wicket victory with 9 balls in hand.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: