Lewis Gregory. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Lahore Qalandars’ fate hasn’t changed in the PSL, even after the tournament shifted completely to the home country. They are once again staring at a bottom finish in the group stages having lost their third game this season. Although the format is unpredictable and there’s always room for a comeback, the Qalandars look down on confidence and Peshawar Zalmi took complete advantage of their vulnerability.

The weather conditions didn’t allow a full game and the affair was reduced to 12 overs per side. Much to the delight of the fans, Tom Banton got going the way the English fans have been seeing him back in Europe. After the early dismissal of Kamran Akmal, he spanked the ball clean and hard to all parts, providing the side with a solid start.

Adding to his exceptional strokeplay was Haider Ali’s audacious hitting at the other end. The 19-year-old is one of the most highly-rated teenage cricketers in the country and showed glimpses of a bright future. The young duo added 37 runs for the second wicket in no time and after Banton’s dismissal, Haider Ali added a few more big hits to his day’s tally.

He was dismissed for a 12-ball 34 and the side reached the 100-run mark before 9th over finished. Some late blitz from Lewis Gregory and Darren Sammy ensured Zalmi registered 132 runs for the loss of 7 wickets. Dilbar Hussain’s 4/24 in 3 overs was the only positive take away for the Qalandars.

Lewis Gregory demolishes the Qalandars

Chris Lynn provided a perfect start for the Qalandars alongside Fakhar Zaman. The duo nearly added 50 runs for the opening wicket inside 5 overs and with all the wickets in hand, it seemed like Lahore have a fair shot at winning their first game of the season. But things changed drastically when Lewis Gregory came on to Bowl in the 5th over.

He picked up the prized scalp of Lynn and immediately followed it up with the wicket of Mohamad Hafeez. In Gregory’s next over, he removed Fakhar Zaman as well and the Qalandars fell apart. Samit Patel’s complimentary cameo did help them register a respectable total towards the end, but after the 5th over, the game was running one-way till the end.

In the end, the Qalandars just managed 116 runs for the loss of 6 wickets. Lewis Gregory chipped in with four wickets in his three overs, giving away just 25 runs. Zalmi are finally beginning to find a rhythm and this win has definitely got the side on the right track. Gregory was named player of the match for his all-round brilliance on the day.

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