Mohammad Asghar’s Man of the Match performance saw Peshawar off to a winning start and condemned Islamabad to a 24-run defeat, their second in a row in the Pakistan Super League.Asghar is another of the youngsters, given their head in this competition, that so much was made of in the preamble. If the Pakistan Super League is to succeed, Asghar and co need to step up. Today against Islamabad, Asghar was wonderful.
With his left-arm spin he grabbed 3-20 to unsettle the top-order, one of which was Misbah-ul-Haq, and then took two superb catches to dismiss United’s danger men, Sam Billings and Andre Russell just as they appeared to be getting their side close.
Islamabad will have fancied their chances of chasing down Peshawar’s 145 for seven, but as in their first game, they never hit their stride. They were 70 for six before they seemed to realise they were on the verge of their second successive defeat and needed to do something about it.
Billings (25 from 20 balls) and Russell (12) were keeping United afloat, before Asghar took two chances in consecutive ball s from Wahab Riaz (3-32) on the cover fence and that was that. United petered out at 121 for nine.
Tamim Iqbal took a while to get the pace of the pitch before batting his side through with a run-a-ball 51. He had obviously judged a competitive score well and saw 88 for four on the scoreboard in the 15th over and knew he was the glue.
Shahid Afridi and Darren Sammy blasted a quick 16 and 10 respectively and the final tally was more than enough.
Russell continued his good PSL with 3-31, but the night belonged to Asghar.
Peshawar Zalmi 145 for 7 (Tamim 51, Russell 3-31) beat Islamabad United 121 for 9 (Asghar 3-20, Wahab 3-32) by 24 runs
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James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
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