PSL Final: More to cheer for Zalmi Fans

Source:  Samaa Published in Sports on Saturday, March 04, 2017

Peshawar Zalmi on Friday said they were confident that their five foreign players will travel to Lahore for the Pakistan Super League final despite security fears following two deadly bomb attacks.

“All our foreign players — England’s Dawid Malan, Chris Jordan and Samit Patel and the West Indian duo of Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels have visas issued and we hope they all will go,” said a Peshawar Zalmi spokesman.

Malan and Jordan need official permission from the England and Wales Cricket Board which is expected to come on Saturday, the spokesman added.

The other finalists, Quetta Gladiators have not been so fortunate with their foreign contingent of English trio, Kevin Pietersen, Luke Wright and Tymal Mills, as well as New Zealand’s Nathan McCullum and South Africa’s Rilee Rossouw all refusing to go to Lahore for Sunday’s final.

The final will go ahead despite two bomb blasts in the city which killed 23 people and left over 100 injured last month.

The rest of the Twenty20 tournament has been played in the United Arab Emirates where Pakistan have hosted most of their international cricket since a terror attack on the Sri Lanka team bus eight years ago.

Peshawar will certainly be without star all-rounder Shahid Afridi who needed 12 stitches after damaging his right hand while fielding in Friday’s 24-run win over the Karachi Kings which took his team to the title match.

“Happier than ever to reach the finals, @PeshawarZalmi have shown their resolve for the title & my injury wont stop them from winning,” tweeted the 36-year-old who announced his international retirement during the competition.

Kamran Akmal fired Peshawar into the final with a brilliant hundred.

Akmal, hoping to regain his spot in the national team for next month’s tour of the West Indies, hit a 65-ball 104 with seven sixes and six boundaries to lift Peshawar to 181-3 in their 20 overs after being sent into bat.

Paceman Wahab Riaz then chipped in with 3-24 as Karachi were restricted to 157-7.

Kieron Pollard scored a 26-ball 47 and added an invaluable 62 in six overs for the sixth wicket with Imad Wasim (24) but they fell within the space of just two runs to give Peshawar victory.

Chris Gayle took his first run off the ninth ball before completing a 31-ball 40 with four sixes and two boundaries.   AFP