PSL 2019: Fakhar Zaman stands out in Lahore Qalandars top order with fine half century

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Little more than pride was on offer as Lahore Qalandars took on Multan Sultans in the 29th match of the 2019 Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Both sides have missed out on the play-offs and having won the toss, Multan Sultans skipper Shoaib Malik elected to field first at the National Stadium in Karachi.

Opening the innings for Lahore, Fakhar Zaman impressed with a fine fifty.

Here, we take a closer look at the left-hander’s display.

STATISTICS

RUNS SCORED: 53

BALLS FACED: 36

BOUNDARIES: 8

SIXES: 1

STRIKE-RATE: 147.22

30-SECOND REPORT

Zaman looked in ominous form from the start as he set out to put his side on the front foot. However, his opening partner Riki Wessels struggled at the other end and a labourious four runs off 10 balls came to an end when he was castled by CJ Green.

Sohail Akhtar and Haris Sohail also failed to offer Zaman much support as both fell cheaply. The Pakistan opening batsman remained unfazed though and continued scoring at pace, finishing with a strike rate of 147.22.

After his dismissal, David Wiese took charge of proceedings, helping Lahore to a respectable 140/8 with a knock of 30 from 22 balls.

GOT RIGHT

From the very first ball of the match, it became apparent that Zaman was in the mood to score some runs. Mohammad Abbas opened the attack for Multan Sultans and saw his first two deliveries race to the fence. Both balls pitched well outside off stump and that’s asking for trouble against Zaman.

The 28-year-old spanked both deliveries away to the boundary. Even as batsman at the other end struggled, Zaman seemed to be in the zone, striking the ball ever so cleanly off the middle of the bat. At one point, he hit CJ Green to the ropes for three consecutive balls before perishing in the next over after putting up 53 runs from 36 balls with eight boundaries and a six.

The best feature of this innings was how he punished loose deliveries with well-timed cricketing shots. That’s why the manner of his dismissal was so disappointing.

GOT WRONG

Zaman was determined to accelerate Lahore’s innings and lost his wicket attempting to do so. With everyone around him falling cheaply though, he should’ve put a higher price on his wicket. He was the set batsman and the team would’ve benefited from him spending more time at the crease.

Even though Shahid Afridi’s over had yielded just three runs at the time, the one just prior to it was a big one, producing 16 runs as Zaman had dispatched CJ Green for two fours and a six.

Despite that, the Qalandars captain felt the need to premeditate a slog over mid-wicket only for Afridi’s well-disguised googly to punish his cross-batted shot. A top edge was skied towards point for Shan Masood to gobble up.

VERDICT – 8/10

A handy knock from the skipper saw the crowd in Karachi treated to some exquisitely timed shots, particularly through the offside. His early departure though may have been the difference between Lahore setting a competitive target of 141 as opposed to a more dominant one.

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