Young leg-spinner Usama Mir kept his cool in the final over as Karachi Kings beat Peshawar Zalmi by nine runs in a thrilling contest at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
Chasing a stiff target of 175 to win the match, Zalmi was in all sorts of trouble after losing six wickets for just 69 runs in the 12th over.
However, a 70-run seventh wicket partnership between captain Darren Sammy and veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi kept Peshawar alive in the match.
But flurry of wickets in the last 13 balls sealed a much needed win for Kumar Sangakara’s men, who are now placed fourth in the league table on better run rate than fifth-placed Lahore Qalandars.
Afridi finished the innings with the top score of 54 off just 28 balls with the help of three fours and five massive sixes, whereas Sammy scored 34 off 26 balls, which included one four and three sixes.
For Karachi, pacers Sohail Khan and Usman Khan Shinwari claimed three wickets each.
Earlier, after being sent in to bat first, Kings scored 174 runs for the loss of four wickets in their allotted 20 overs, courtesy brilliant batting from veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik.
Malik scored an unbeaten 51 off just 27 balls with the help of four fours and three massive sixes. He was well supported by Ravi Bopara, who scored 30 off 20 balls.
For Peshawar, part-time off-spinner Iftikhar Ahmed claimed two wickets.
For his outstanding all-round performance, Malik was awarded man of the match.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2017.