By Shahid Hashmi
England captain struck a responsible 80 to put Peshawar Zalmi’s title aspiration campaign back on track with a seven wickets win on the second day of the Pakistan Super League on Friday.
Morgan’s 57-ball unbeaten knock ensured Zalmi chased down a modest 119-run target in xxx overs at Dubai stadium.
The day was marred by the first incident of fixing in the Twenty20 league when Pakistan opener Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif were provisionally suspended for having met a suspicion betting syndicate individual.
On the field Quetta Gladiators outlasted Lahore Qalandars in a low-scoring match but Karachi King’s aspiration to defend a paltry total were not fulfilled.
It was a story of top order failuer as both team lost their first two wickets with just two on the board but Morgan became the difference as he lifted Peshawar Zalmi from a precarious 2-2 with a 46-run stand with Dawid Malan who made 22.
Morgan kept the good work despite Kamran Akmal falling for nought and hit eight boundaries and three sixes, adding 71 for the unbroken fifth wicket stand with Haris Sohail who made 13.
Zalmi had lost their first match to Islamabad United on Thursday.
Strangely, Karachi captain Kumar Sangakkara did not bowl Ravi Bopara at all, the highest wicket-taker for the team with 11 in the first edition.
Karachi too were tottering after being sent into bat as Mohammad Hafeez (2-7) rocked them with wickets of Shahzaib Hasan (nought) and Chris Gayle (two) in the first three overs.
In between prolific Pakistan batsman Babar Azam was smartly caught in the slip off Hasan Ali. Skipper Kumar Sangakkara also holed out to Chris Jordana to leave Karachi Kings tottering at 12-4.
Shoaib Malik (44 off 36 balls) and Ravi Bopara (33 off 40) added 59 for the fifth wicket to give some stability to the derailed innings. It was left to Kieron Pollard to help the team get past 100-mark, hitting two lusty sixes in his 14-ball 27 not out.
Wahab Riaz also took 2-23 in his four overs.
On the third day of the PSL, title-holders Islamabad United face Lahore Qalandars.