DUBAI: Misbah-ul-Haq and Darren Sammy – two former captains of their countries – proved age is just a number as they pull off a heist against Lahore Qalandars for Peshawar Zalmi’s four wicket win in the HBL PSL match in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
Misbah cracked a fighting 55-ball 59 not out studded with four boundaries and two sixes while Sammy notched a 36-ball 46 with four boundaries and a six as the pair lifted Peshawar from a precarious 20-5 to help chase down a modest 125-run target in 19.5 overs. The hard fought win – with heroes having a combined age of 79 (Misbah 44, Sammy 35) – steered Peshawar to play-offs with 12 points in nine matches, winning six and losing three.
Lahore never looked on course for a big total and it were only Haris Sohail (33-ball 43 with four boundaries and a six), David Wiese (16-ball 26 with two sixes and as many fours) and Umair Masood (28-ball 22 with two boundaries) that helped Lahore to a lackluster 124-7 after they were sent into bat.
Misbah, who has a special liking for Sheikh Zayed stadium as he scored the then joint fastest Test hundred here in 2014, added a match winning 100 runs for the sixth wicket with Sammy to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Shaheen had wrecked Peshawar’s top order in his first spell of 2-1-6-3 with wickets of Imam-ul-Haq (four), Umar Amin and Liam Dawson (both nought off successive deliveries) to leave them tottering at 12-4.
Rahat Ali had dismissed Kamran Akmal for three to open the gates. David Wiese made it 20-5 with the wicket of Kieron Pollard, bowled for a poor ten-ball two. But Misbah, playing his only second match after injuring his hamstring after team’s opening match, steadied the innings before lashing big strokes in the final four overs when Peshawar needed 34 runs for victory.
It came down to 31 in three after Shaheen conceded just three but Sammy unleashed aggressive strokes for two boundaries and a six off Haris Rauf to bring down the target to 13. Misbah cracked a boundary off Shaheen’s first ball in the penultimate over as the target came down to six off the last over. Misbah took a single off the first ball after Sohail Akhtar dropped him at deep fine-leg before Ryan ten Doeschate bowled Sammy to bring a new life in Lahore ranks. But Misbah and Wahab Riaz kept their cool to achieve victory with a single.
Misbah, declared man of the match, said his aim was to play till the last over. “It was tough to come back after injury but this is the time when you back yourself and in tough situations,” said Misbah. “We (Sammy and I) spoke about batting until the last over and knew that if we could do that we will be able to take the team close to the target and it came out like that.”
The win gives Peshawar 12 points in nine matches and a top position in the points table with a better net run-rate over Quetta Gladiators. Quetta, who meet Islamabad United in the second match later Tuesday, are second on the table with 12 points in eight matches.
Lahore are now in the relegation zone with fifth, having scored just six points in eight games. They have lost five matches and won three out of eight. Islamabad are third with eight points in eight matches (four wins and four losses) while Karachi are fourth with eight points (four wins and four losses in eight) Multan Sultans are sixth with just four points in nine games (seven defeats and two wins).
Lahore lost wickets at regular intervals. Their captain Fakhar Zaman continued to disappoint as he and fellow opener Anron Devcich fell within the space of six runs. Fakhar for 11 and Devcich for five. Tymal Mills (3-29) had opened the gates with the wicket of Devcich while Sameen Gul (4-0-17-2) had Fakhar and Sohail Akhtar for 11.
Haris defied the bowling with some good strokes, hitting paceman Wahab Riaz for three boundaries in the 14th over before falling to Mills. Haris and Masood added 32 for the fifth wicket before Mills accounted for both Haris and Masood to end any hopes of a big total. Wiese smashed two sixes and a boundary off Hasan Ali who for a second match running failed to add to his 18 wickets — the most in this HBL PSL. The league will shift to Karachi for the last eight matches, including the play-offs and the final — from March 9.