Sports & Games

Babar Azam and Saim Ayub Make History with Fourth Century Stand in PSL as Peshawar Zalmi Defeat Lahore Qalandars

Peshawar Zalmi’s opening pair of Babar Azam and Saim Ayub put on a sensational show with the bat as they helped their team register an eight-run win over Lahore Qalandars in the 12th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season nine at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Sunday.

The duo added 136 runs for the first wicket, the highest opening partnership in PSL 9, after Lahore Qalandars captain Shaheen Afridi won the toss and opted to field first. This was also their fourth century stand in PSL history, equalling the record held by Mohammad Rizwan and Rilee Rossouw, and Mohammad Rizwan and Shan Masood.

Babar Azam, the Peshawar Zalmi skipper, scored 48 runs off 36 balls, hitting five fours, before he was dismissed by Afridi in the 15th over. Saim Ayub, the 21-year-old left-hander, played a brilliant knock of 88 runs off 55 balls, smashing eight fours and four sixes, and was named the player of the match. He was also bowled by Afridi in the 18th over.

Peshawar Zalmi’s middle-order also contributed with some quick runs, as Rovman Powell smashed 46 runs off 20 balls, including five fours and two sixes, and Mohammad Haris scored 12 runs off 5 balls, with one six and a four. Peshawar Zalmi posted a mammoth total of 211 for four in 20 overs, the highest in PSL 9 so far.

Lahore Qalandars’ chase got off to a shaky start, as they lost both their openers, Fakhar Zaman and Sahibzada Farhan, cheaply. Rassie van der Dussen, the South African batsman, then took charge of the innings and played a magnificent knock of 104 not out off 52 balls, hitting 7 fours and six sixes. He was well supported by Shai Hope, who made 29 runs off 23 balls, and Ahsan Bhatti, who scored 20 runs off 13 balls.

However, Lahore Qalandars could not keep up with the required run rate, as Peshawar Zalmi’s bowlers kept taking wickets at regular intervals. Naveen-ul-Haq, the Afghan pacer, was the pick of the bowlers, as he claimed two wickets for 50 runs in four overs. Luke Wood, Paul Walter, and Salman Irshad also took one wicket each.

Lahore Qalandars finished with 203 for six in 20 overs, falling short of the target by eight runs. This was their fifth consecutive loss in PSL 9, as they remained at the bottom of the points table. Peshawar Zalmi, on the other hand, moved up to the third spot, with their second win in four matches.

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