Recent Match Report – Qalandars vs Zalmi 17th Match 2020/21-2021
Tim David’s 36-ball 64 set up a stiff target after Lahore were in trouble, and Rashid Khan did the rest
Peshawar’s stifling start
The Dunk-David partnership had the quality to win most T20 games, but it’s easy to forget how hopeless the position they were forced to consolidate from was. That was the case thanks to a superb opening spell from both Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Irfan, who beat the batter’s tentative outside edges so often, it might have been a Test match with a new Dukes ball in overcast English conditions. Wahab mixed up the length deliveries with a pinpoint yorker to dispatch Fakhar Zaman in the first over, while Irfan followed it up by drawing an outside edge from Qalandars skipper Sohail Akhtar.
The blows from Zalmi kept coming, Umaid Asif proving Mohammad Hafeez’s undoing with a devilishly quick bouncer the batsman toe-ended to extra cover. Mohammad Faizan, who endured a wretched little innings where he appeared to lack both ability and intent, fell thanks to a stupendously good diving catch from Wahab Riaz at mid-off. It was his 21st delivery, with the No. 3 managing just eight runs. It brought David and Dunk together, and the rest was history.
Rashid Khan masterclass
It might be easier to copy and paste the rich tributes the Afghan superstar earned after his exploits against Islamabad United, but this was an even more imperious performance. He begun sloppily with a few wayward balls down legside, and his first over ended up going for 15 runs – six more than he had allowed in his entire spell yesterday.
But from thereon, a mesmeric two overs changed the face of the game entirely. Up to this point, Malik and Miller had quietly built up a partnership of mounting importance for Zalmi after the quickfire loss of the openers, and while the asking rate approached 11, players like Sherfane Rutherford and Fabian Allen were to follow. But when Rashid had Miller chopping onto his stumps in the tenth over, Zalmi found their defences breached in a far more comprehensive way. Rovman Powell attempted, and missed, a sweep shot two balls later; but the third Rashid over was the icing on the cake.
He looked to have Rutherford plumb first ball, and the batsman was spared only by the faintest hint of a glove on it. A couple more googlies followed before he threw in the conventional legspinner, a magical delivery that sent the off stump bail flying. The hapless Allen looked dead in front first ball, and again, was only saved by the impact on the pads being marginally outside off. Rashid would have the last laugh, though, finishing him off with a googly the following delivery, and on that occasion, the umpire had no hesitation raising the finger. He would return to remove Wahab and complete a five-for, with his figures of 4-1-20-5 not flattering him in the slightest.
David a diamond in the rough
What is it with men named David and finishing games off for Lahore? It’s safe to say David wasn’t widely known in Pakistan when Lahore Qalandars plumped for him in the replacement draft, but he certainly is now.
Filling David Weise’s boots for Qalandars is a near-impossible task, but David has made a sparkling start. After a priceless cameo against Islamabad, his 34-ball 64 today offered much more substance. He was involved in a sensible rebuild with Dunk early on, prioritising keeping wickets. But without taking risks, he looked to be moving the run rate upwards. He brought up his half-century of 30 balls by pulling Wahab over midwicket for six before following up with two more in the final over to guarantee his side had a vice-like grip on the game they were never likely to relinquish.
Where they stand
Lahore extend their lead at the top of the table with five wins in six games. The defeat sees Zalmi drop down to fourth.
Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000