Twitter Reactions: Skipper Shoaib Malik leads from the front as Peshawar Zalmi beat Quetta Gladiators by 5 wickets

Twitter Reactions: Skipper Shoaib Malik leads from the front as Peshawar Zalmi beat Quetta Gladiators by 5 wickets

Will Smeed's brilliant 97 off 62 on PSL debut went in vain.

Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Peshawar Zalmi started their campaign in the 2022 edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) with a hard-fought win over the Quetta Gladiators. Chasing a stiff total of 191, the Gladiators successfully edged past the finish line in the final over by five wickets with two balls to spare.

Veteran Shoaib Malik once again played the finisher’s role to perfection and helped his side in earning their first points of this season. The dynamic all-rounder scored a match-winning 32-ball unbeaten 48 and remained at the crease right till the end to successfully take his team past the finish line.

Apart from the skipper Malik, middle-order batter Hussain Talat and opener Yasir Khan also made stellar contributions during the run chase. While Talat scored 52 runs off 29 deliveries, Khan scored a quickfire 12-ball 30 and helped Peshawar get off to a brisk start. Usman Qadir was the pick of the bowlers for Zalmi as he registered two scalps from his four overs conceding just 20 runs at an economy rate of five.

Will Smeed helps Quetta Gladiators post 190/4

Earlier, after being asked to bat first, the Quetta Gladiators posted 190/4 on the board from their 20 overs. Openers Ahsan Ali and Will Smead added 155 runs for the opening stand. Smeed top-scored with 97 runs off 62 balls whereas his opening partner Ali scored 73 off just 46 deliveries.

At one stage, it appeared as if the Gladiators would post a total in excess of 200 but a disappointing performance from their middle-order in the death overs meant that the openers’ efforts went in vain. Apart from Qadir, Sameen Gul also picked up two wickets by giving away 41 runs from his four overs.

In reply, openers Yasir Khan and Tom Kohler-Cadmore shared a 43-run opening stand before the former was dismissed in the fourth over. Peshawar were reduced to 77/3 once youngster Haider Ali was dismissed for 19 as Malik and Talat then added 82 runs for the fourth wicket stand.

After Hussain Talat’s dismissal, it seemed as if the scoreboard pressure would get the better of Zalmi but, captain Shoaib Malik did the unthinkable and went after the Quetta bowlers fearlessly in the death overs. He scored 22 runs off Australian left-arm pacer James Faulkner’s penultimate over and brought the equation down to four runs off final six deliveries. Malik himself added finishing touches for his side.

Here is how Twitter reacted to the PSL encounter between the two sides