PSL 7, Day 2: Plays of the Day

Plays of the Day as Peshawar Zalmi beat Quetta Gladiators in a high-scoring affair in Match 2 of PSL 2022.

Delay of the Day

In this day and age, a delay at the start of the game typically signifies something COVID-related. The last 12 months have seen a PSL match between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators postponed on the day owing to a positive COVID test, last-minute changes to the National T20 Cup schedule after some positive COVID cases, and most recently, match-day confusion ahead of the final T20I between Pakistan and West Indies. While that T20I went ahead as scheduled, the following ODIs were pushed back to June.

So when the toss was delayed, Pakistan fans would have been fearing the worst, just two days into the competition. Thankfully, the delay was not COVID-related but delayed for a much more bizarre reason. Mohammad Haris is a hugely talented 20-year-old wicket-keeper and was listed as one of the players on Peshawar Zalmi’s teamsheet. However, there was just one problem. After being selected for the ODI series that never was against New Zealand in September last year, Mohammad Haris no longer qualifies in the ‘emerging’ category (he is now silver). Thus, Zalmi had no emerging player in the XI.

With Kamran Akmal unavailable due to COVID, the 2017 champions were left in limbo, with Haris not able to play as an emerging player. Eventually, Tom Kohler-Cadmore stepped in and took the gloves, and 19-year-old Yasir Khan, not part of the original Peshawar Zalmi squad, was plucked out of nowhere to fulfill the mandatory emerging players quota. The batter had been training with Zalmi recently and may have been included as a replacement for one of Zalmi’s COVID-affected players.

Record-Breaker of the Day

When Sohail Khan was named in the playing XI for Peshawar Zalmi, he became the first player in the history of PSL to play for five teams. The veteran began his PSL career with Karachi Kings – he plied his trade there for two years and finished as the highest wicket-taker in the 2017 edition. The pace bowler was then traded to Lahore Qalandars for the 2018 season, with Mohammad Rizwan heading to Karachi Kings in return. Sohail Khan was back with Karachi Kings for the 2019 season before moving to Quetta Gladiators in 2020. Last season, the 37-year-old won his first PSL title with Multan Sultans and was picked as a supplementary player for Peshawar Zalmi ahead of PSL 7. Next stop, Islamabad United?

Drop of the Day

Playing against one of his many former teams, Sohail Khan had a day to forget, despite the victory. As well as being the most expensive bowler on the night, the tall right-armer dropped an absolute sitter on what was a horrific evening for Peshawar Zalmi in the field overall. Will Smeed was batting on 37 when he swiped across the line to a harmless Usman Qadir delivery.

Rather than clearing the mid-wicket boundary as Smeed would have hoped, the youngster could only manage an edge that spooned up in the air to the man at short third man, only for Khan to somehow drop one of the easiest catches a fielder could ever ask for. It wasn’t the only life Smeed was given, and he made Zalmi pay as he registered his highest ever T20 score and bagged the Player of the Match award, although Sohail Khan had the last laugh, finishing on the winning side.

Catch of the Day

If the winner of this match was to be determined on fielding alone, then, without a doubt, Quetta Gladiators would have taken the 2 points. Haider Ali was named Player of the Match when the two teams met in Karachi last season, and after a strong finish to 2021, he would have been one of the key batters for Zalmi in the chase. He was struggling for fluency before he decided to run down the wicket, looking for a maximum over long-off. However, the delivery from Mohammad Nawaz turned sharply away from the youngster and kissed the outside edge of his blade, and Ali was sent on his way when Sarfaraz Ahmed took a stunning reaction catch behind the stumps.

Six of the Day

Tom Kohler-Cadmore played the steadier role in his opening partnership with emerging player Yasir Khan, but when the 19-year-old was dismissed for a 12-ball 30, it was up to the Englishman to keep the momentum going in a huge chase. With the RRR above 9, it was vital that the Yellow Storm made full use of the fielding restrictions, and Kohler-Cadmore started the final over of the Powerplay in devastating fashion. Mohammad Nawaz dropped it slightly short, and the stand-in wicket-keeper brought out the slog sweep as the ball was deposited out of the stadium. You wouldn’t be surprised if Kohler-Cadmore is watching a replay of that delivery on an endless loop in the team hotel right now.