Yet another flying start followed by yet another middle-order collapse led to Lahore Qalandars losing their fifth straight game of the ongoing Pakistan Super League — the defeat this time being an embarrassing 10-wicket one and coming at the hands of Peshawar Zalmi at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
The Qalandars, after winning the toss, decided to bat first against the defending champions.
Fast bowler Hasan Ali was deemed fit for Zalmi, who were missing their captain Darren Sammy and Harris Sohail. Liam Dawson was also named in the starting line-up for the first time.
Mohammad Hafeez was chosen to lead the side in Sammy’s absence.
The Qalandars kept faith with the same side that had lost to Islamabad United a night before.
Captain Brendon McCullum and deputy Fakhar Zaman opened the batting for the Qalandars, while Sameen Gull and Umaid Asif shared the new ball for Zalmi.
Zaman made his intention clear from the beginning, plundering Gull’s opening over for 15 runs. The hard-hitting southpaw also hit a monstrous 102-metre maximum off Asif’s delivery in the second over.
After two overs, the Qalandars were 25-0, clearly trying to atone for the plethora of mistakes they made in their opening four matches — all defeats.
Hasan Ali’s introduction restricted the flow of runs and also brought the breakthrough; McCullum was the one to depart and it was a bizarre dismissal.