Peshawar Zalmi‘s formidable bowling attack was given a hard time by Islamabad United in their 2019 Pakistan Super League (PSL) clash in Dubai on Friday, but Wahab Riaz emerged unscathed with a fine display.
The senior Peshawar pacer was on song on Friday with his death bowling playing a large part in Islamabad being ultimately bowled out for 176 runs in their 20 overs despite enjoying a strong start.
Wahab finished with excellent figures of 2-20 from his four overs and also managed to complete his 250th T20 dismissal in the course of his spell.
Here, we take a closer look at his display against defending champions and league leaders Islamabad.
OVERS BOWLED: 4
RUNS CONCEDED: 20
Brought into the bowling attack in the final over of the powerplay, Wahab kept things tight to begin with. Islamabad were flying in the middle overs with Cameron Delport and Chadwick Walton going great guns but Wahab seized the momentum for his side by castling the stumps of the latter in the 15th over.
The left-armed pacer bowled an eventful final over for Peshawar and it fetched his side as many as four wickets with three of them coming courtesy of run-outs.
An eventful last over by @WahabViki as @IsbUnited lose 4 wickets@PeshawarZalmi need 178 to win— Cricingif (@_cricingif) March 1, 2019
Watch ball-by-ball highlights: https://t.co/PB12o3uSX7#PZvIU #PSL2019 #KhelDeewanoKa #CricketForAll pic.twitter.com/uPF6VqSsuR
Lethal and pinpoint yorkers. Wahab has always possessed an excellent yorker in his armoury and the pacer used it to great effect against Islamabad. Both Walton and Islamabad skipper Shadab Khan saw their stumps flattened by Wahab on Friday with the Peshawar pacer taking his wicket tally in the tournament to 10 wickets.
The 33-year-old also showed excellent awareness on the field off his own bowling to complete two of the three run-outs in the final over.
OUT! @WahabViki bowls Chadwick Walton (22) and Islamabad United are 132/3 in the 15th over now— Cricingif (@_cricingif) March 1, 2019
Watch ball by ball highlights at https://t.co/PB12o3uSX7 #PZvIU #PSL2019 #KhelDeewanoKa #CricketForAll pic.twitter.com/qFvUn4F8mf
Save for a few full tosses while attempting to bowl his yorkers, Wahab generally got his radar right on Friday with Islamabad’s batsmen barely getting any room to free their arms against him.
VERDICT – 9/10
It was largely down to the efforts of Wahab and Hasan Ali, especially the former, that Peshawar were able to restrict Islamabad under 180 given the strong start by the defending champions.
Wahab, the highest wicket-taker in the 2018 edition, showed why his experience is so crucial to the Zalmi side with yet another composed display. While four of Peshawar’s bowlers went at over 10 runs an over on Friday, Wahab stood tall with an economy-rate of just five.
He was clearly the pick of Peshawar’s bowlers and his excellent form augurs well for the side as the competition heads towards its business end. If he continues to perform like this, Wahab could yet be an unlikely contender for Pakistan’s World Cup squad.
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