Tim David off 36 balls made 64 hard goals after Qalanders was 25 vs 4, Rashid did the rest with the ball
Zalmi would end up reversing a sad start for the Qalandars, with openers Kamran Akmal and Haider Ali losing out in Faulkner’s first win, whose irrepressible start to PSL could see the Australian selectors start paying attention in a World Cup year. A 51-time standoff between Malik and David Miller kept Zalmy interested, but that was before Rashid Khan was offered. The Old Man would tear apart the middle arrangement, as it was almost impossible for him to read or play for Zalmi. By the time he finished his spell, Zalmi was out of competition. Dean Asif kept the Qalandara’s nerves swaying with a glowing veil at death, but the shadow of the oppressor left much to do.
The suffocating beginning of the iniquity
The Dunk-David partnership had the quality to win most T20 games, but it’s easy to forget how desperate the situation they were forced to unite was. This was the case thanks to a brilliant opening spell from both Wahab Riad and Mohamed Irfan, who overcame the temporary outer edges of the often beaten, possibly a Test match with a fresh Dukes ball in overcast English conditions. Riad mixed long deliveries with a yorker to dispatch Fakhar Zaman the first time, while Irfan followed by pulling an outer edge off Qalanders captain Suhail Akhtar.
Strikes from Zalami kept coming, and Asif established that Muhammad Hafeez was retreating with a diabolical fast guard with the tip of the toe into extra cover. Mohamed Faizan, who took on miserable small roles where he seemed to lack ability and intent, fell thanks to a superb diving catch from a midway riad. This was his 21st delivery, with No. 3 only running eight runs. They brought David and Dunk together, and with them came the rescue of Qalanders.
Rashid Khan’s advanced lessons
It might be easier to copy and paste the rich tribute the Afghan star received after his exploits against Islamabad United, but this was a more powerful performance. He started sloppy with a few stray balls on the side of the leg, and wound up the first time he went 15 times – six more than he allowed in each stint on Wednesday.
But from here, two wizards completely changed the face of the game. Up to this point Malik and Miller have quietly established a partnership of increasing importance for Zalmi after quickly losing their opening matches, and while the demand rate is close to 11, players like Sherfane Rutherford and Fabian Allen have had to follow. But when Khan slashed Miller on his stumps on the tenth day, Zalmi found that their defenses had been violated in a more thorough way. Rofman Powell attempted, and missed, a sweeping pass after two balls; But Khan III finished it was the icing on the cake.
It looked like Rutherford had got the first ball, and the hit was spared only by the faint hint of a glove on him. Another pair of googlies followed before he cast a traditional stem-leg, a magical rendition that led to a torso bail. The unlucky Allen looked dead in front of the first ball, and again, he was only saved by swaying marginally off-court pads. Khan would have laughed at last, though, so he ended it with a googly next delivery, and on that occasion, the referee didn’t hesitate to raise a finger. He’ll come back to remove Riad and complete five versus, with his numbers of 4-1-20-5 not flattering him at all.
David rough diamonds
What’s up with guys called David and finishing matches for Qalanders? It’s safe to say that David wasn’t widely known in Pakistan when the Qalandars made up for him in alternative recruitment, but he certainly is now.
Filling David Weise’s shoes for Qalandars is a nearly impossible task, but David is off to a great start. After an invaluable cameo against United, his 64 against Zalmi gave him even more substance. He engaged in a sensible rebuild with Dunk early on, prioritizing licking retention. But without the risk, it seemed to move the playback rate up. He brought in half a century of his 30 balls by dragging Riyad over the middle of the field for six before following them up with two others in the final to ensure his team’s control of the game they were unlikely to give up.
Where do they stand
Qalanders consolidated their lead at the top of the table with five wins in six matches. The defeat saw the Zalmi drop to fourth place.
Daniel Messenger is sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. Trustworthy