CricViz analyst Kieran Parmley takes a look at the latest action in the Pakistan Super League.
Tonight’s match offered a change of pace following the Islamabad United vs Multan Sultans runfest in Match 10. It was the class and control of Shoaib Malik, alongside an adaptable pace attack, which tilted the fixture in Peshawar Zalmi’s favour as they registered a nine run victory over Karachi Kings.
Walking in at 74-2 in the 10th over, Shoaib Malik faced his first dot ball after 24 deliveries in today’s innings and faced just three overall, optimising run scoring on what turned out to be a tricky pitch to score on. Shoaib’s ability as a fast start has been more pronounced when playing for Peshawar Zalmi too – starting with a strike rate of 115 inside his first 10 balls faced, rising to a 161 strike rate after that point. In his PSL career previously for Karachi Kings and Multan Sultans, Shoaib’s strike rate inside his opening 10 balls was just 86, rising to 145 after facing 10 deliveries.
Manoeuvring the ball on a slower pitch to reduce the number of dot balls wasn’t the only skillset on show from Shoaib today – despite facing just 4 deliveries from Imad Wasim he was able to show off his hitting ability against spin, taking the Karachi Kings captain for 2 sixes straight down the ground. His rather handy off spin was also used in the opening over of the run chase to dismiss the dangerous Sharjeel Khan – Shoaib could be a new ball option Peshawar Zalmi look to use more often in the future, given the number of left-handers opening the batting in the PSL this season.
Peshawar Zalmi were also excellent with the ball in defending 173, adapting quickly to the slow nature of the pitch and electing to take pace off the ball with 46% of their deliveries from pacers dropping below 120kph, the second highest figure so far in PSL 5.
As well as taking pace off the ball, the Wahab Riaz led outfit dropped their length back, further increasing the difficulty for Karachi Kings batters. Zalmi conceded just 38 runs from the 31 balls when going shorter than 8 metres and slower than 120kph – should the same pitch be used again during this weekend’s double header, the Zalmi pacers have certainly given a masterclass in how to make best use of conditions with the ball.