The 18th match of the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) saw the Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators locking horns in Rawalpindi. The rain continued to play spoilsport in the city and eventually, the encounter was reduced to 15 overs per side and both teams entertained the crowd with some exceptional hitting over the course of 30 overs. It was the Zalmi who came up trump in the end as the Gladiators failed to chase down a mammoth total of 171.
Earlier, Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and invited Zalmi to bat first even as the latter lost their opener Imam -ul-Haq early in the second over itself. However, Kamran Akmal got to 23 off just 12 deliveries to give a boost to his team at the start. The good work was continued by Haider Ali and the veteran Shoaib Malik as the duo added 54 runs for the third wicket.
The former scored 39 off 24 balls before Mohammad Hasnain sent him packing and from here on, Malik took charge of the proceedings. He smacked 54 off just 27 balls with eight fours and a six before getting out in the 13th over. However, the final boost to the score was given by Lewis Gregory who smashed an unbeaten 19 off just 8 balls to propel Peshawar Zalmi to 170/6 after 15 overs.
Hasnain was the only shining light for the Gladiators who returned with four wickets for 34 runs in his three overs while Sohail Khan and Ben Cutting scalped a wicket each.
Wahab Riaz breaks the back of the chase
The Gladiators needed their openers Jason Roy and Shane Watson and the duo did just the same. They added 45 runs for the opening wicket in less than five overs Hasan Ali got the better of the latter. Roy, meanwhile, was timing the ball beautifully at the other end. Ahmed Shehzad struggled to even rotate the strike but the England international didn’t let the run-flow stem.
Roy scored 45 off just 26 deliveries and was bluffed by Yasir Shah who castled the batsman. Shehzad’s travails ended after wasting 17 balls for just 10 runs and since’s Roy’s dismissal, there was no momentum to the Gladiators’ chase. Ben Cutting and Mohammad Nawaz entertained for a brief period but there were left with a little too much to do.
Wahab Riaz and Rahat Ali didn’t let the middle-order cut loose in the death overs. They returned with the figures of 3/21 and 2/34 in their respective three-over spells as the Gladiators could only reach 140/7 in 15 overs. This loss will hurt the defending champions as they are now at the fifth position with six points after 7 matches. The Zalmi, on the other hand, climbed to third place after this victory.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
SKIPPER DISMISSES SKIPPER! 🔥
Slower delivery from Wahab Riaz and the timber is disturbed. Sarfaraz Ahmed is removed! #HBLPSLV #TayyarHain #CricketForAll pic.twitter.com/chq3Zydswe
— Cricingif (@_cricingif) March 5, 2020
5 March 2004 @WahabViki won the #U19CWC
5 March 2020 He was named @PeshawarZalmi captain
There is something with 5 March and Wahab Riaz#HBLPSLV pic.twitter.com/3RdJNq3deE
— Rai M. Azlan (@Mussanaf) March 5, 2020
so we won!
yasir shah and all put their effort 👏👏#QGvPZ #PZvQG pic.twitter.com/Z8DcBr4NC7
— Naeem Khan🇵🇰 (@Naeemkhansbs) March 5, 2020
Here is what Wahab Riaz had to say in reply to your question in the #AwamiPressConference#PZvQG #HBLPSLV pic.twitter.com/xUdnU6m7hb
— PakistanSuperLeague (@thePSLt20) March 5, 2020
Wahab riaz on fire🔥
— Sana Fahad (@sanafahd26) March 5, 2020
Shane Watson vs Wahab Riaz reminds me off 2015 Worldcup !! What a spell by Wahab to Watson !! #PSL2020 pic.twitter.com/dEsebqL46E
— Trojan_Horse (@sampath0272) March 5, 2020
Bad captaincy from Wahab Riaz should give bowling to Yasir Shah as we have seen Roy have problems against leg Spiners#HBLPSLV
— Mian Bilal 🇵🇰 (@MianBil19382474) March 5, 2020
Wahab Riaz Getting the Ball to Shape Into the Right Hander ( abit of Inward Movement ) thats ‘Rare’ I Repeat thats ‘Rare’ Because of the Wrist Position Which He Bowls, It Always Goes Away From the Right Hander With that Left Arm Angle !!#QGvPZ
— Mani 🇵🇰 (@ManiTweets14) March 5, 2020
Wahab Riaz “Haider Ali is an excellent & an aggressive player. He has permission to go for it and play his natural game from the team management and from myself as captain. If he can give us quick 30-40 runs in the way he plays then that is very useful for our team” #PSL5
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) March 5, 2020
This Is Out are Not
What is Your Idea #Wahabriaz pic.twitter.com/YxzwMgAww9
— Abdul Kareem Sayaf (@SayafKareem) March 5, 2020
Wahab Riaz “I would like to give credit to Darren Sammy in the way he has lead the size for the past 3 years. This is an opportunity for me now with Darren Sammy as our coach. We are working together and the result of that you saw in today’s performance” #PZvsQG pic.twitter.com/PZMWMCNb5L
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) March 5, 2020
Wahab Riaz first win as a captain.
His figures were 3-0-21-3 today. Brilliant performance and congrats to @WahabViki for winning his first game as a skipper 💛#PZvQG #PSLV #PSL2020 pic.twitter.com/JSiLHWiFZo
— Daniyal Mirza (@Danimirza747) March 5, 2020
📢STAT ALERT 📊
Peshawar Zalmi captain Wahab Riaz has bowled 33% slower balls in this match – the most he’s bowled in any game this #HBLPSLV season. #PZvQG pic.twitter.com/oyfL2x3vju
— Haji Fayyaz (@HajiFayyaz21) March 5, 2020