Mohammad Hafeez’s scintillating half-century secured Lahore Qalandars a five-wicket win over Peshawar Zalmi in the Eliminator 1 of the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 at the National Stadium on Saturday evening.
Qalandars will take on Multan Sultans in the Eliminator 2 on Sunday evening.
The 40-year-old right-handed batsman stroked an unbeaten 74 off 46, which, after providing stability to the run chase, helped Qalandars surmount an imposing 171-run target with an over spare.
Hafeez crunched nine fours and two sixes in his undefeated stay at the wicket and stitched crucial partnerships worth 55 and 42 with Ben Dunk and Samit Patel, both scored 20 runs each.
Qalandars’ run-chase was off to a wobbly start as they lost their top-three batsmen for 33 in 4.5 overs. Pacer Saqib Mahmood, who returned three for 41, dismissed all three batsmen.
For the second time in HBL PSL 2020, the contest between Qalandars and Zalmi was wrapped with a David Weise maximum, as the South African all-rounder smacked back-to-back sixes on the last two deliveries of the penultimate over.
Earlier, Peshawar Zalmi posted 170 for nine after Lahore Qalandars’ captain Sohail Akhtar elected to field.
Haider Ali became Shaheen Shah Afridi’s first scalp as he was bowled on the second ball of the match.
A 31-run second wicket partnership between Imam-ul-Haq (24 off 19, two sixes) and Sohaib Maqsood (16 off 17, one four and one six) denied any further inroads to Qalandars’ bowlers.
Faf du Plessis marked his HBL PSL debut with a 25-ball 31, in which he struck a four and a six, and stitched a 31-run stand with veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik, who with 39 off 24 balls was the top-scorer in the innings.
Both batsmen were dismissed by Dilbar Hussain, who finished with the figures of three for 33.
Following du Plessis’ dismissal, Shoaib, who smashed two sixes and as many fours, anchored Zalmi’s innings.
But it was Hardus Viljoen’s 16-ball 37 in the final moments of the innings that took Zalmi to an imposing total. He smoked Haris Rauf for six, four, six in the first three balls of the last over, before smashing him for another four on the penultimate ball of the innings. He fell on the last ball becoming Haris’ second wicket, but before that, he had amassed 20 runs from the over.
Shaheen and Wiese were the other two bowlers to take two wickets in the innings.
Scores in brief:
Lahore Qalandars beat Peshawar Zalmi by five wickets
Peshawar Zalmi 170-9, 20 overs (Shoaib Malik 39, Hardus Viljoen 37, Faf du Plessis 31, Imam-ul-Haq 24; Dilbar Hussain 3-33, Shaheen Shah Afridi 2-19, David Wiese 2-40, Haris Rauf 2-48)
Lahore Qalandars 171-5, 19 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 74 not out, Samit Patel 20, Ben Dunk 20; Saqib Mahmood 3-41)
Player of the match – Mohammad Hafeez