Peshawar hold nerve to beat Karachi in tense finish

SHARJAH: West Indies international Darren Sammy delivered a calculated final over as Peshawar Zalmi survived a whirlwind Ravi Bopara knock to beat Karachi Kings by three runs in a tense finish in Sharjah on Thursday.

Bopara smashed 67 of 32 balls in an innings that included five fours and four sixes to help revive his team after they slumped to 48-5 in 8.5 overs. Bopara was accompanied by Sohail Tanvir (23) to establish a crucial 61-run partnership for the seventh wicket.

Earlier, James Vince (44) had laid the foundation for Kings to chase the 183 set by Zalmi. None of the other Kings batsmen succeeded in putting up an impressive show. Zalmi players kept it tight on the field and grabbed three sharp opportunities to run out Nauman Anwar, Imad Wasim and Usama Mir.

Zalmi’s pace spearhead Wahab Riaz took two wickets, whereas Shaun Tait, skipper Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Asghar and Darren Sammy claimed one wicket each.

After winning the toss and deciding to bat first, Zalmi all-rounders Afridi and Sammy scored quick-fire 17 and 18 runs respectively to help their side put up a mammoth 183 on the scoreboard.

Zalmi got off to a flying start with openers Mohammad Hafeez (59) and Tamim Iqbal (37) amassing 86 runs in the first ten overs. Wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, who came in to bat at number three, scored 30 runs off 20 balls, hitting two sixes and as many fours.

Kings bowlers looked helpless as Zalmi batters continued to press after their fine start.

Both sides made a change each with Aamer Yamin replacing left-arm paceman Junaid Khan for Zalmi while Nauman Anwar came back for Kings.

Hafeez, for his 35-ball 59 that included seven fours and three sixes, received the Man of the Match award.

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