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PSL 2021 – LQ vs PZ – Rashid Khan ‘broke our back’ with five-wicket haul

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Spinner’s 5 for 20 led Lahore Qalandars to a ten-run win over Peshawar Zalmi in their PSL 2021 encounter

The Peshawar Zalmi conceded 44 runs in the last two overs against the Lahore Qalandars in their game on Thursday, Wahab Riaz‘s 19th over proving especially costly, going for 29 runs. But Shoaib Malik, who hit a 48-ball 73 in the chase, which stopped ten runs short, pointed to Rashid Khan‘s 5 for 20 as the real reason for the Zalmi’s loss, saying the Afghan spinner “broke our back”.

“In death overs, we gave a bit more runs and that was the area I think we need to improve. We were not really expecting them to get to 170. We did bowl well upfront and the missing element was a wristspinner, who could have made a difference with strikes in the middle overs,” Malik said after the game, which left the Zalmi at No. 4 and strengthened the Qalandars’ position at the top of the table. “But, at the same time, we have got to appreciate the way [Ben] Dunk and [Tim] David batted [48 in 33 balls and 64* in 36 balls respectively], and despite the tough pitch they not only scored runs but scored with a good strike rate to make sure they finish (on a) high to set a good target.”

Asked to bat first, the Qalandars were reeling at 25 for 4 after 7.3 overs, but David partnered Dunk for 81 runs in 49 balls first, and then 47 off just 13 balls with James Faulkner for the seventh wicket. Riaz, the Zalmi captain, had conceded just seven runs in his first three overs, but was taken to the cleaners by David and Faulkner in the penultimate over. Faulkner then had the Zalmi at 5 for 2 after two overs, but Malik brought them right back in the game, till Khan changed the script. His strikes were those of David Miller, Rovman Powell, Sherfane Rutherford, Fabian Allen and Riaz, all big hitters, to leave the scoreboard reading 114 for 7. Malik couldn’t do it from there, his innings ending when he was out hit wicket to Haris Rauf.

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