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Lahore Qalandars beat Peshawar Zalmi by four wickets in the Eliminator 2 match of the Pakistan Super League 2023 to reach the final on Friday, March 17. The reigning champions returned to their best after losing the last two games by big margins. Mohammad Haris scored a big knock to help the Zalmi post a challenging total while batting first but Mirza Baig’s 54 off 42 knock proved a difference as Lahore Qalandars chased the target in just 18.5 overs.
Babar Azam won the toss for Peshawar Zalmi and elected to field first at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. Sri Lankan batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa replaced James Neesham for the Zalmi while Ahsan Hafeez made a debut for the Qalandars with all-rounder Hussain Talat sitting out.
Saim Ayub started the innings by smashing two fours to Shaheen Afridi in the very first over but was bowled out on Zaman Khan’s delivery in the second over. In-form Babar continued his red-hot form and pulled off a big 89-run partnership with a young wicketkeeper batter Mohammad Haris for the second wicket.
Babar scored a crucial 42 off 36 with the help of seven fours before getting out on Rashid Khan’s delivery in the 12th over. But Haris went on to record another fifty as he smashed 85 off 54 with 11 fours and two sixes. Shaheen dismissed Haris in the 18th over and then Zalmi’s innings was restricted to just 171/5. Zaman and Rashid took two wickets each for the Qalandars while Shaheen picked one for 41.
While defending 171, the Afghan pace all-rounder Azmatullah Omarzai bowled out the last season’s leading run-getter Fakhar Zaman on just six runs in the second over to add early pressure on the Qalandars. Baig kept the runs flowing from one end but his side lost debutant Ahsan Hafeez and youngster Abdullah Shafique cheaply.
Sam Billings steadied the Qalandars’ innings with a crucial 50-run partnership with Baig for the fourth wicket. Baig smashed 54 off 42 to put Lahore’s side in the driving seat for the first time. Aamer Jamal balanced the game in the 13th over with Baig’s wicket.
But Sam Billing’s 28 and Sikandar Raza’s 23 helped the Qalandars closer to the target. Captain Shaheen smashed a six and four to finish the game in style as Lahore Qalandars won by four wickets with seven balls remaining.
Here is how Twitter is reacting to Lahore Qalandars’s win over Peshawar Zalmi:
07:33 PM · Mar 17, 2023
Mohammad Haris uses the back of his bat better than a lot of batters use the front 🤣
09:19 PM · Mar 17, 2023
09:06 PM · Mar 17, 2023
09:19 PM · Mar 17, 2023
11:21 PM · Mar 17, 2023
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