Peshawar Zalmi 158 for 5
(Hodge 85 not out, Allenby 31; Sammy 1-13, Yamin 1-21)
Karachi Kings 152 for 7
(Simmons 49, Bopara 23; Bhatti 2-36)
Peshawar won by five wickets
DUBAI // Watching Brad Hodge play, it is difficult to rid the sense of regret and sadness, of a career unfulfilled. One of Australia’s most prolific domestic scorers, he only played six Tests for his country, and averaged nearly 56 in them, denied by an exceptional crop of talent during his best years.
He put that aside and went on to become one of the world's best Twenty20 batsman, a point he reminded us of again on Wednesday evening at the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Dubai.
Drafted in by Peshawar Zalmi after completing a stint in the Masters Champions League (MCL), Hodge exploded onto the league with an unbeaten 45-ball 85 to secure a sixth win for Peshawar.
Karachi Kings, on the receiving end of the onslaught, still retain a chance of going through to the play-offs, but Lahore Qalandars must lose to Islamabad United in the evening game.
Peshawar looked in some strife at one stage; chasing 153 for the win, they were 98 for four after 15 overs and struggling to get some disciplined bowling away.
But Hodge changed the game in the 16th over, bowled by the promising legspinner Usama Mir. He began with fortune, under-edging a four past the keeper, but then hit three monstrous sixes in a row: one straight, one swept and one flat and hard over extra cover.
When he cut a Mohammed Amir full toss for six over covers, victory had been effectively sealed. For good measure he pulled Ravi Bopara twice for six in the penultimate over of the chase.
Bopara has been Karachi’s most successful bowler and yet, bizarrely, Shoaib Malik, the captain, did not introduce him into the attack until that over, when the game was over.
That capped a hopelessly off-the-pace performance from the most expensive franchise in the league. Lendl Simmons apart, none of their batsmen could get Peshawar’s attack away; Peshawar’s bowlers have been the best in the league, but this was, effectively, a third-string attack and it would have galled Karachi that they could not profit to a greater degree.
That, in turn, encapsulates their league run: they made four changes to their XI, and the tinkering with their line-up has been a constant feature of their campaign.
They are still in it, but their fate is not in their hands.
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