Imam-ul-Haq was at the forefront of a domineering six-wicket victory for Peshawar Zalmi against Delhi Capitals as the PSL side scampered to a six-wicket win. The IPL side faced an initial jolt in the first over itself from which they could never really recover from and suffered the loss.
After electing to field first, Peshawar Zalmi had Rahat Ali to thank for his incredible opening over in which he dismissed Shikhar Dhawan and Prithivi Shaw to give DC an early jolt. Although Shreyas Iyer and Jason Roy tried to work on that situation to bring the team out of the woods, it was actually Rishabh Pant who ensured a fine finish to the inning with his death over power-hitting. Keemo Paul hung in there to ensure DC reached a total of 164 runs in the course of the game.
Chasing 165 is not a difficult proposition for any side and the Yellow Brigade fancied their chance. But Delhi possessed one of the best bowling line-ups in the tournament, something that gave them some hope. However, that was crushed to molecules when Imam Ul Haq, with Tom Banton at the other end, played one of the finest innings in the SRL history to guide the side to an effortless six-wicket victory.
You can check out the scorecard and Match Tracker here.
Need a wicket - Dial L for Lewis. It has become some sort of truism in this SRL with Peshawar using the Somerset pacer in the perfect manner. With Roy and Iyer building a slow partnership out in the middle, Gregory dismissed the latter in the 12th over to end the partnership and effectively brought a stall to their progress. The game tilted in Zalmi’s favour from that point on.
Highs and Lows
The highs of the game had to be Hasan Ali’s first over for the sheer audacity of it. The pacer from Peshawar conceded only one run to two of the most devastating batsmen of our time inside the powerplay and tell me, what could be better than that. His bowling ensured Delhi never getting the kind of start they wanted but then again, a splendid over has the ability to enthral more than any six can ever give.
Delhi’s heartless bowling display in the powerplay was the ultimate low in the match, for a lot was expected from the duo of Ishant Sharma and Kagiso Rabada. The fireworks never came, with Imam Ul Haq dominating them from the outset. A decent bowling performance would have made it a game worth remembering.
Powerplay exploitation: Delhi 4/10 Peshawar 7/10
After being jolted with a couple of blows in the first over itself, it took a sustained effort from Jason Roy and Shreyas Iyer to get to where they eventually did in the powerplay, managing a total of 40 runs in the first six overs. Rahat Ali and Wahab Riaz were spitting venoms but the duo managed to get rid of that phase to bail the team out of the woods.
Unlike Delhi Capitals, the Peshawar duo of Imam-ul-Haq and Tom Banton decided to attack from the word go before the pressure of run-chase could mount on them. The former, in particular, was devastating, batting over 200 SR in the entire phase, to put off Ishant Sharma and Kagiso Rabada. So much so that they got to 57 runs in the first six overs and with 108 runs required in the next 15, it veered towards a cakewalk.
Middle-overs manoeuvring: Delhi 4.5/10 Peshawar 8/10
It was a phase that gave Delhi an opportunity to break the shackles and aim for a better total but when Jason Roy bats with an SR lower than 100, you could sense that there is something unusually wrong with the pattern and that pretty much explains the situation Delhi were in after losing Dhawan and Shaw to Rahat Ali. While Shreyas Iyer tried his level best to give some solid tonk, Roy failed to muster any sort of momentum and the team could only manage 60 runs in the nine-over middle-over phase.
Imam-ul-Haq was on a different plane altogether and was the single biggest differentiator between the two sides today. His tireless hitting, alongside the class of Shoaib Malik, resulted in Peshawar putting a show in front of Delhi bowlers, making the game virtually dead with the side adding 89 runs in the nine-over period.
Death bowling: Delhi 2/10 Peshawar 2/10
After doing the containment job to perfection in the first 15 overs, the PSL side lost its way in the death, conceding 64 runs in the last five overs. Worst of which was the last two overs bowled by their two strike bowlers - Wahab Riaz and Rahat Ali - as the duo gave away 36 runs in the last two overs. Rishabh Pant was the major wrecker for them, with the southpaw scoring 44 off 26 balls, most of which came at the death.
It was just a formality by the time the death overs arrived, but the Pakistan opener was in no mood to slow down. He kept on adding runs to his tally, making Kagiso Rabada and Ishant Sharma a butt of jokes for him. His hitting was an example of how devastating a T20 innings can be and Delhi simply held no chance against him.
Match Frenzy O Meter - GOOD
Some wise man once said, a T20 is nothing but a pattern executed to perfection with some individual performances. From that count, Delhi and Peshawar did alright, with Imam, Pant and Banton showcasing some fine batting skill. This might not be a fully entertaining one but I will take it.