PSL 2019: Hasan Ali and Kieron Pollard the heroes for Peshawar Zalmi in win over Multan Sultans
Big hitting from Pollard sees Peshawar home in Sharjah
Hasan Ali picked up his third four-wicket haul in four matches in the Pakistan Super League, bur Peshawar Zalmi still required a late salvo from Kieron Pollard to get past Multan Sultans.
After Hasan’s death-overs expertise had helped restrict Multan to 145 all out, Peshawar made slow work of their run-chase at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, until the entry of the big Trinidadian.
Pollard took four sixes from the last four balls Mohammed Irfan delivered in the 18th over of Peshawar’s run-chase. It was the all the impetus required to nudge Zalmi towards a five-wicket win, which they eventually sealed with two balls left.
A few nights earlier, Pollard had given graphic evidence of his power when he smashed a six that left the ball lodged in a signboard at the top of the main grandstand at the UAE’s oldest cricket venue.
His four-in-four against Multan earned praise from teammates and opponents alike.
“He is a freak, and that is one of the reasons he has played more T20 matches than anyone else in the world,” Liam Dawson, Pollard’s fellow allrounder for Peshawar, said.
“He is a match-winner, he puts in performances like that all of the time, and for him to take 24 off that over has won us the game.”
Johnson Charles, whose own breezy innings of 53 for Multan was the top score in the match, said the bowler Irfan could have done little to stop Pollard when he was in that sort of mood.
“I wouldn’t say that [Irfan] didn’t bowl well, he is a world-class bowler, but Pollard is also a world-class batsman,” Charles said of his fellow West Indian.
“It is all about on the day executing. He started brilliantly, but in the end Pollard just got the better of him.
“It just hasn’t come together for us. We have done bits and pieces very well, but in the end we haven’t done everything well, and we have suffered for that.”
Dawson also used the term “world-class” to describe Hasan, who has taken 15 wickets in the first five outings of the tournament. The leading wicket-takers in the PSL last season, Faheem Ashraf and Wahab Riaz, managed 18 in its entirety.
“If he keeps getting four wickets in every game, it is only going to get us in a good position,” Dawson said. “He is a world-class bowler, and is performing really well at the minute.”
The win sent Peshawar to second in the table, level on points with defending champions Islamabad United, who they lead on net run-rate.
It was Multan’s fourth defeat from five matches, heaping pressure on Shoaib Malik, the side’s captain, who has had a chequered leadership history in the PSL.
“He has the full support and backing of the team management, the owners, and everyone is with him,” Haider Azhar, Multan’s general manager, said of Malik.
“The games we did lose, we lost to individual brilliant performances. Against Karachi, Liam Livingstone was absolutely fantastic. Against Quetta, [Shane Watson] had us from ball one, and then you had the AB de Villiers masterclass [for Lahore Qalandars.
“This time it was that one over by Pollard. We were still pretty confident, with 145 on the board, but the way Pollard went in that one particular over was exceptional.
“If results start to go our way, we are very, very confident of finding the right combination. You have to take into account we were hampered by a couple of injuries, a couple of late arrivals, and some departures.
“Now we believe we have a lot more settled line up. We are very confident, but obviously we are disappointed at the results.”
Updated: February 24, 2019 09:23 PM