Peshawar Zalmi captain Babar Azam hailed the fast bowling unit of his team after they defeated Islamabad United by 12 runs in the Eliminator contest at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Thursday. PSZ posted a par score of 183 runs after Shadab Khan won the toss and decided to bowl first but Babar Azam admitted they were 20 runs short.
In fact, ISU was motoring along at 128-1 after 14 overs but Aamer Jamal and Salman Irshad scalped two wickets apiece to help their team bounce back into the contest.
Meanwhile, Babar Azam led from the front as he scored 64 runs from 37 balls whereas Mohammad Haris played a nice little cameo of 17-ball 34 in the middle order.
On the other hand, Alex Hales and Sohaib Maqsood scored 57 and 60 runs respectively for ISU but their middle order could not contribute to the run-chase.
Babar Azam said in the post-match presentation, “The way the fast bowlers executed and came back, it was outstanding. The ball started to reverse after 10 overs. We couldn’t finish well with the bat, we were 20 runs short. There’s always room for improvement. We need to bowl well in the first six overs.”
On the other hand, Shadab Khan feels the body language of his team was not up to the mark and it led to their downfall in the knockout game.
Shadab Khan said, “We struggled with the ball in the first 10 overs, we came back outstandingly. Credit to the way Peshawar bowled when the ball was reverse-swinging. Wins and losses are part of this game, I feel I made the right decision at the toss. Our body language wasn’t good in the first 10-13 overs and that cost us the game today. We qualified for the playoffs. We didn’t play the perfect game as a team. We could have finished in the top-two but we didn’t play smart cricket.”
Peshawar Zalmi will take on Lahore Qalandars in the second qualifier on Friday at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.