Amir reveals details of on-field exchange with Babar Azam

Babar struck a delightful straight drive off Mohammad Amir, who retaliated with a sharp bouncer that Babar failed to connect with

Amir reveals details of on-field exchange with Babar Azam PHOTO: Shafiq Malik

Quetta Gladiators started their HBL PSL 9 campaign on a winning note, beating Peshawar Zalmi by 16 runs after a hard-fought and high-scoring contest at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Sunday afternoon.

Chasing a mammoth total of 207, Saim Ayub and Babar Azam provided a solid start to Peshawar Zalmi.

Saim clubbed Akeal Hosein for the first six of Zalmi's innings in the second over. In the following over, Babar hit Mohammad Amir for a sumptuous straight drive. Amir replied back with a vicious bouncer, which Babar missed to hit.

“We didn’t talk a lot. He is a good player. My role is to get the batter out with the new ball,” Amir said.

“I actually bowled him a bouncer and he said that the ball had skidded off the pitch and he couldn’t read it. I think he played a good innings and his wicket was the turning point of the match,” he added.

The duo amassed 70 off the powerplay. The 91-run opening partnership came to an end as Rossouw ran out Saim (42, 26b, 2x4s, 3x6s). Hosein struck to remove Mohammad Haris (7, 6b, 1x4) in the 11th over. Tom Kohler-Cadmore (18, 18b, 1x6) and Babar put on a 39-run third-wicket partnership before Babar fell to Abrar Ahmed on the first ball of the 16th over scoring 68 off 42 balls with four boundaries and as many maximums. Babar also became the first-ever batter to score 3000 runs in the HBL PSL history.

Two balls later, Abrar struck again to dismiss Kohler-Cadmore leaving Zalmi 150-4. Dan Mousely joined Rovman Powell in the middle with 57 runs required off 26 balls. Mousley managed to hit Mohammad Amir for a much-needed maximum over deep backward square on the last ball of the 17th over.

Amir returned in the 19th over to dismiss a dangerous Powell, bringing an end to his cameo of 17 from nine balls leaving Zalmi in dire straits. He bowled the penultimate over for just six runs. Zalmi required 25 runs off the last over but Wasim Jnr only gave away eight runs while eking out the scalp of Mousley.

Returning to competitive cricket after an injury, Abrar bowled a tight spell giving away 29 runs and bagging two prized scalps. Amir, Hosein and Hasnain bagged one wicket each.