Rawalpindi Peshawar Zalmi went from one extreme to the other, slumping to 2 for 3 in the first 2.2 overs and then smashing 195 for 2 in the remaining 17.4 to seal a comfortable victory over Karachi Kings in Rawalpindi.
It all began what seems like a very long time ago with Mohammad Amir sprinkling some of his magic dust, removing Babar Azam and Mohammad Haris in the very first over.
Nineteen-year old Haseebullah Khan, on PSL debut, walked into an innings crying out for help and proceeded to soothe it. A member of Pakistan’s most recent Under-19 World Cup squad announced himself with a 29-ball fifty, in which five of his first 11 scoring shots were boundaries. Some of this carnage could have been mitigated had Akif Javed been able to hold onto a simple catch in the sixth over when Haseebullah only had 12 to his name but c’est la vie.
Karachi’s dream start turned into a full on nightmare when Rovman Powell joined in on the fun, scoring 64 off just 34 balls as Karachi. He hit six fours and four sixes during his stay; basically, he was able to hit a boundary once every three or four balls. Sixty-five runs – 33% of the total – came off the last four overs bowled by Javed (14+21), Amir (12) and Aamer Yamin (18). Somewhere in the middle of all that, Tom Kohler-Cadmore helped himself to a half-century as well.
Karachi did begin their chase well with Matthew Wade moving to 37 off 26 by the end of the Powerplay. He’d benefited from two lives even at that early stage of the innings – once when he was on 1 (caught behind but not reviewed) and later when he was on 19 (dropped). Karachi would’ve hoped that those were signs of their luck changing but it was not to be.
They went from 40 for 0 to 95 for 5 as Mujeeb-ur-Rahman and Azmatullah Omarzai seized control through the middle overs picking up a combined 5 for 56 from their full quota. Imad Wasim (57 not out off 30 balls) threatened something special but even after hitting five fours in an over his side went into the last one needing 37 runs and that typically isn’t possible in a cricket match.