Pollard powers Karachi Kings to 7-wicket win over Peshawar Zalmi in PSL - GulfToday

Pollard powers Karachi Kings to 7-wicket win over Peshawar Zalmi in PSL


Kieron Pollard (C) greets Peshawar Zalmi's players at the end of the PSL match at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on Wednesday. AFP

Experienced power-hitter Kieron Pollard upstaged Babar Azam’s landmark Twenty20 and led Karachi Kings to an emphatic seven-wicket win over Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) on Wednesday.

Pollard bludgeoned an unbeaten 49 off 21 balls with four towering sixes and four boundaries as the veteran West Indian helped Karachi cruise to 157-3 in 16.5 overs for its first win in the tournament. Babar’s landmark 271st T20 in which he became the fastest batter to reach 10,000 runs saw Peshawar getting bowled out for 154 in 19.5 overs after Karachi won the toss and elected to field.

Babar followed his half century in the first game against Quetta Gladiators with a knock of 72 off 51 balls, but his effort went in vain for the second successive game.

Chris Gayle of the West Indies held the previous record of reaching the 10,000-run milestone in 275 T20 games.

Peshawar’s innings revolved around Babar’s brilliance after it lost three wickets inside the batting powerplay with Shoaib Malik clean bowling Saim Ayub off the first ball with a full pitched delivery that didn’t turn much.

Hasan Ali, playing against his former franchise, also had a dream start when he knocked back Tom Kohler-Cadmore’s off stump off his first ball.

Babar revived the innings with Rovman Powell (39) in a 68-run stand and Asif Ali scored 23 before Peshawar lost its last six wickets for only 18 runs in the last four overs. Powell top-edged reverse sweep against left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz and Ali holed out at long-on.

Left-arm fast bowler Mir Hamza (3-28), who bowled to hard lengths with the new ball, chipped in with the wickets of Aamer Jamal and then took a fine return catch to dismiss Babar in his last over as Peshawar innings folded quickly.

Pollard brought an early finish when he smashed three straight sixes and two fours in a 27-run over against Afghanistan left-arm wrist spinner Waqar Salamkheil, one of the two changes Peshawar made in the team which lost the first match by 16 runs. Salamkheil conceded 54 off his four overs and got Malik stumped for run-a-ball 29.

James Vince remained unbeaten on 38 and denied Pollard a much deserved half century when he drove Luke Wood (2-20) for a winning boundary.

Karachi, which lost its first game against Multan Sultans by 55 runs, has two points from two games while Peshawar is still looking for its first win. In the later game on Wednesday, Multan Sultans will take on defending champion Lahore Qalandars.

Associated Press

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