It doesn’t rain in deserts. Ball doesn’t dominate bat in the shortest format of the game. The record-breaking contest between Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi was full of such unusual developments. What adds weight to the notion is the fact that an umpire of Aleem Dar’s stature gave two questionable judgements.
Darren Sammy had made the right choice to bowl first on a surface which had stayed under covers for the most part of the day because of erratic showers.
The tacky nature of the wicket made him introduce left-arm orthodox Mohammad Asghar right away and he struck gold with Brendon McCullum’s wicket on the last ball of the first over.
Paceman Hasan Ali struck twice in the next over removing Jason Roy and Umar Akmal. Left-handed Fakhar Zaman tried to counter-attack at some instances but failed to get any support as wickets kept tumbling from the other end.
The brief 20-run stand between Zaman and Mohammad Rizwan breathed air into Qalandars’ innings but with the latter falling in the seventh over, the last five wickets were dismissed for only 12 runs. Qalandars were rolled out for 59, which is the record lowest in PSL.
Zalmi’s innings followed similar pattern as both openers were removed for only four runs. It was once again the English skipper Eoin Morgan who wrote his own script despite the mayhem and his 26-ball 23 proved pivotal at a time when Yasir Shah wreaked havoc, and ultimately dismissed him. But the left-handed batsman had scored enough for his tail to take Zalmi over the line.