Brad Hodge turned a chase that was headed nowhere into realms of possibility, and within the bat of an eyelid, blasted the ball to all corners of the Dubai Cricket Stadium. Peshawar Zalmi blew away Karachi Kings in a manic 10-minute passage to win by five wickets and move to the top of the PSL standings.
Hodge hit six fours and as many sixes in his unbeaten 45-ball 85 as Peshawar recovered from 69 for 4 in 11.5 overs to overhaul Karachi’s 152 for 7 with nine balls to spare. The turning point in the chase was the 16th over, bowled by legspinner Usama Mir, where Hodge smashed a four and three successive sixes to reduce the equation to 32 off the last four overs.
The next over was hit for 14, and the wheels came off Karachi’s bowling unit, with Darren Sammy sealing the game with a muscular hit into the stands at deep midwicket.
That Peshawar were set 153 was largely due to the efforts of Lendl Simmons, who top scored with 49 and held the innings together for a while, before it fell apart as one batsman after another was dismissed in a quest to up the ante. The second-highest scorer of the innings was Ravi Bopara, who made a 22-ball 23 to shore up the total after a middle-order meltdown.
Peshawar started badly as the new ball pair of Mohammad Amir and Bilawal Bhatti removed the openers with the score at just 25 inside five overs. Jim Allenby, the Australian batsman, revived the innings with a 29-ball 31, but his dismissal followed by Shahid Afridi’s in consecutive overs meant the chase hit a roadblock at 69 for 4.
But Peshwar were not to be denied as Hodge cashed in on the first sign of complacency from Karachi by mixing a bit of brute strength and fineness in his effort to turn the game in no time. Such was the quality of his knock that even the dismissal of Kamran Akmal, with Peshawar still needing 32, largely went unnoticed.
Having lost the game from a position of strength, Karachi will have to hope for a Lahore Qalandars win in the second match of the night to progress.