LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Shaheen Shah Afridi dealt two early blows and Fakhar Zaman continued his rich run of batting form as Lahore Qalandars inflicted a crushing eight-wicket defeat on Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League on Sunday.
Earlier, Karachi Kings had its sixth successive loss when Peshawar Zalmi handed the 2020 champion a 55-run defeat.
Left-hander Fakhar (53 runs off 42 balls) scored his fifth half century — to go along with his century against Karachi — as Lahore romped to 143-2 in 17.4 overs.
Made to bat first, Quetta had to settle for a below-par total of 141-7 after Afridi removed Jason Roy and James Vince, both without scoring, in his superb first over of the match.
Fakhar hit six boundaries in his seventh PSL game this season and stretched his runs tally to 469 to be the leading run-scorer in the tournament before he skied a slog-sweep to midwicket in the 16th over.
Kamran Ghulam remained unbeaten on 55 and led Lahore’s strong chase by sharing a 77-run second-wicket stand with Fakhar.
Quetta had relied heavily on Roy’s power-hitting in their previous two wins. But the Englishman gloved behind off Afridi’s second delivery, and Vince was clean bowled the next ball, and Quetta struggled to put up a challenging total.
After its fifth win in seven games, Lahore occupies second spot in the table with 10 points behind Multan Sultans, which has 12 points. Quetta has six points.
KARACHI LOSES AGAIN
Nothing seemed to go right for the injury-hit Karachi team, led by Babar Azam, as its batters yet again struggled and reached just 138-6 in its unsuccessful chase against Peshawar.
After losing the toss, Peshawar had earlier capitalized on sloppy Karachi fielding to score 193-6 with the opening pair of Hazratullah Zazai (52 off 42) and 20-year-old newcomer Mohammad Haris (49 off 27) providing a rollicking start of 97 runs from 10 overs.
Australian Ben Cutting provided a late flourish to Peshawar’s total with a breezy 26 off 15 balls that included three boundaries against Chris Jordan (3-41) in the 19th over.
Babar had scored an unbeaten 90 against Peshawar in the first leg at Karachi in a losing cause and again on Sunday his 59 runs off 46 balls were not enough.
“The drop chances and death bowling led to a score that was well over par,” Babar said. “We played poorly in the powerplay and that cost us the match … but they bowled well and deserve credit for it.”
Power-hitter Sharjeel Khan’s struggles in the powerplay continued before he holed out in the fifth over after scoring 14 off 16 balls as Karachi slipped to 33-1 in the first six overs.
Fast bowlers Salman Irshad (2-24) and captain Wahab Riaz (2-26) didn’t allow Babar and Joe Clarke to score freely as the boundaries dried up for Karachi.
Liam Livingstone (1-22) also bowled three tidy overs in the middle and had Clarke clean bowled off his legspin for a run-a-ball 26.
Babar got little support from the other end to pace the chase before Irshad had him leg before wicket off a full-pitched delivery in the 17th over.
Karachi is on the brink of elimination, needing not only to win its remaining four league games but also hoping results elsewhere go in their favor. Peshawar is still in the race for the playoff with six points from seven games.
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