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Peshawar Zalmi won PSL final

06 March, 2017

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Peshawar Zalmi thrashed Quetta Gladiators by 58 runs in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2017 final on Sunday at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium. What was to be an intensely competitive final battle turned into a one-sided game, as the Gladiators buckled under the pressure of a 149-run target set by Zalmi.

The Gladiators made a dismal start to their innings, scoring only one run in the first over and losing opener Morne Van Wyk to a run-out on the third ball of the second.

The Zalmi, in contrast, had kicked off their innings with three solid boundaries smacked by opener Kamran Akmal.

And though the Zalmi recovered after their middle order fell — led by skipper Darren Sammy — Quetta could not, and their wickets continued to fall thick and fast, with the entire team out in the 16th over.

Zalmi's Kamran Akmal and Sammy were the heavy hitters in this game, with opener Akmal racking up a quick 40 before his dismissal and Sammy closing the Zalmi innings with 28 runs ─ 22 of which were boundaries (three sixes and 1 four).

Zalmi bowlers Mohammad Asghar and Wahab Riaz shined in the game, with the former taking three wickets and conceding only 16 runs while the latter took two wickets for 13.

Quetta Gladiators' bowler Rayad Emrit was a force to be reckoned with, taking three wickets ─ Mohammad Hafeez, Iftikhar Ahmed, and Malan ─ with an economy of 31 runs off four overs. Mohammad Nawaz conceded just 15 runs off his four overs, taking one wicket.

Gladiators batsmen Sarfraz Ahmed, SM Ervine and Anwar Ali each scored over 20 runs apiece, contributing the significant chunk of the team's finishing score of 90.

Sammy credited Shahid Afridi for convincing him to make the trip to Lahore for the final. "He's one of the great players from Pakistan and has been very instrumental in my decision to come here," he said.

"The game's electric, the standard of cricket has been good. I'm glad I came to experience the atmosphere here. It's a wonderful thing," Sammy said. "Today I think there are a lot of smiles in Peshawar ... [And] even though Peshawar came out on top, cricket was the winner today," he said.

Kamran Akmal was awarded 'Man of the Tournament', along with prizes for best wicket-keeper and batsman of the tournament.

Sohail Khan took home the prize for best bowler of the tournament as he was the highest wicket-taker this PSL season.

The $20,000 'Spirit of Cricket Trophy' was awarded to the Quetta Gladiators, who played the final without four of their international players.

Gladiators' skipper Sarfraz, while speaking to Raja after the match, thanked the crowd for supporting the players.

"We have chased bigger totals before this, but we failed to chase today. Ahmed Shehzad was a positive for us this season and so were a lot of other players," he said.

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