After the resignation of the Peshawar Zalmi captain Darren Sammy, Wahab Riaz was announced as the new captain of the Yellow Army. They were up against the defending champions Quetta Gladiators in a rain-affected encounter at Rawalpindi.
The PSL 2017 champions made full use of the bouncy conditions and managed to score 170-6 in the allotted 15 overs. The Quetta bowlers were smacked to every part of the ground and they had no place to hide as Haider Ali and Shoaib Malik formed a significant partnership in the middle after the early loss of Kamran Akmal.
The men in yellow played with just three foreign players in the side as the English opener Tom Banton was dropped from the playing XI and he was replaced by the Pakistani opener Imam-ul-Haq who failed badly with the bat in his first PSL 2020 match.
Shoaib Malik played extremely well for the Zalmis as he scored a 27-ball 54 for the men in yellow with 8 fours and one gigantic six. It is important to note that the match was reduced to just 15 overs per side and Malik, who is not known for his belligerent striking came out all guns blazing against the Quetta bowlers and played at a strike rate of 200.
Haider Ali once again contributed with 39 off just 24 balls with four 4s and two sixes. The finishing touch was provided by Lewis Gregory and Hasan Ali as they took the Zalmis to an enormous total of 170 runs in 15 overs. Gregory scored 19 off just 8 balls with two sixes and Hasan Ali also smacked a six in the last few overs to take his team to this total of 170.
In reply, the Gladiators started really well with the likes of Jason Roy and Shane Watson taking the bowlers to the cleaners in the first few overs. Both Jason and Watson looked in great touch as they were picking the gaps nicely and also going for the big shots when needed.
However, the last year’s highest wicket-taker Hasan Ali got rid of Shane Watson to dent the progress of the defending champions in their chase. Jason Roy kept on scoring important boundaries for his team but he was outgunned by the wily leg-spinner of Pakistan Yasir Shah when he tried to slog-sweep the premier Test spinner of Pakistan.
Roy scored 45 off just 26 with five fours and two sixes and he remained the highest scorer of the innings for the Gladiators. A lot of people also criticized Ahmed Shahzad as he played 17 balls for just 10 runs in the middle and added the extra pressure on Jason Roy.
Ben Cutting has been playing the role of a finisher for Quetta Gladiators brilliantly in the last couple of matches and he was trusted once again for this job and was promoted up the order by the management. However, Cutting couldn’t repeat his heroics with the bat as he was caught in the deep by Liam Livingstone off Wahab Riaz’s bowling.
The new captain of Peshawar Zalmi Wahab Riaz bowled extremely well for his side as he took three wickets for just 21 runs in his three-over spell. Wahab Riaz has replaced Darren Sammy as the new captain of the side whilst Darren Sammy has stepped down from his captaincy spot and he has been announced as the new Head Coach of the Peshawar Zalmi franchise.
The former bowling coach of Pakistan Mohammad Akram has been associated with Peshawar Zalmi from the start of the PSL in 2016 and he is going to take over as the director of cricket of the franchise and will also serve as the bowling coach of the team.