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Dawson stars as Zalmi down United after nail-biting finish

Peshawar chased down the target on the last ball of the innings

PHOTO COURTESY: Twitter/PSL

Peshawar Zalmi defeated Islamabad United by four wickets after a nail-biting finish, during the onoging Habib Bank Limited (HBL) Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Dubai.

Liam Dawson starred for the winning side with an unbeaten innings of 52 runs off just 35 balls. His innings included three fours and similar number of sixes.

Zalmi needed four runs on the final ball of the innings as Dawson smacked a boundary straight of the bowler’s, Mohammad Sami, head. The right-handed batsman also secured the award for player of the match.     

Captain Darren Sammy also played a crucial innings of 40 runs.

At one stage, it looked as if Zalmi would capitulate under pressure as they had lost five wickets for just 84 runs on the board.

But the sixth-wicket partnership between Sammy and Dawson changed the entire complexion of the game. The duo compiled 89 runs to get their side within touching distance of victory.

The 13th over of the innings, bowled by all-rounder Faheem Ashraf, proved to be the turning point of the game. Dawson smacked him for three sixes and a four in that over while wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi also fumbled one behind the stumps, conceding four byes, to add more insult to injury.  

For the losing side, slow left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar and leg-spinner Shadab Khan claimed two wickets each.   

Earlier United were dismissed for 176 runs on the final ball of the innings, after Zalmi won the toss and elected to field first.

At one stage it seemed as if United would post a total in excess of 180 but they lost five wickets in seven balls towards the backend of the innings, which restricted their progress.

Opener Cameron Delport initially struggled to cope with Zalmi’s bowling and could only manage two runs from his first 11 deliveries. But he later got in the groove and finished as the highest run-scorer of the innings with 71 runs off 55 balls. His innings included eight fours and a six.

Phil Salt scored 28 off 18 balls while Asif Ali and Chadwick Walton chipped in with contributions of 23 and 22 runs respectively.

For Zalmi, pacers Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali impressed once again as the duo claimed two wickets each. They kept the batsmen under check and conceded just 20 and 24 runs respectively, in their full quota of four overs.

Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Dawson said that he was a little nervous but he backed himself to clear the boundary.

“I was little nervous but I decided to stand still and hit the ball and thankfully this worked,” he said.

Winning captain Sammy praised the way Dawson played by stating:  “It got close but it was good to get over the line. The way Dawson played and finished the match was great to watch.”

The Windies all-rounder also said that the well-knit nature of their squad was one of the reasons behind their success.

“Such a win lifts the morale of the team,” he said. “We are playing as a unit, which is a good sign.”