KPL 2021: Pakistani ‘Malinga’ enthralls all with fiery pace
MUZAFFARABAD: With a side-arm, unorthodox bowling action similar to Sri Lankan pace great Lasith Malinga and fiery pace at his disposal, Rawalakot Hawks may have found a bowler to watch out for in Zaman Khan.
Much had been talked about the undiscovered pool of Kashmiri talent before the Kashmir Premier League (KPL) kicked off on Friday.
As the Rawalakot Hawks clashed against Kotli Lions, Kashmir’s local talent Zaman Khan bowled at over 140kmph frequently, running circles around the Kotli batsmen.
Khan’s bowling capabilities stirred hopes among Pakistani cricket enthusiasts on social media.
Shahzaib Ali, like most of us, thought Zaman will be a bowler to watch out for in the days to come.“This is what the KPL is about,” said Haroon, guessing that Zaman may have been bowling close to 90mph.
Shahid Afridi’s Rawalkot Hawks drew first blood in the KPL opener by vanquishing Mirpur Royals by 43 runs on Friday.
The Mirpur Royals had won the toss and put the Rawalakot Hawks to bat in the event opener. Hawks put in an excellent show by setting a 195-run target for the Royals.
Ahmed Shahzad's batting feat was the highlight of the innings as he blitzed 69 off 42 balls followed by Bismillah Khan who scored 59 off 34 balls for the team. Captain Shahid Afridi also came up with 16 runs off five balls.
Hawks have Arshad Khan as the head coach.
Amad clinched three wickets and gave out merely 20 runs, followed by Salman who targeted two Royals and gave away 35 runs. Khushdil secured one wicket.
Led by former Pakistani skipper Shoaib Malik with Inzamamul Haq as head coach, the Mirpur Royals could not chase the target. Skipper Shoaib Malik hit 74 runs off 50 balls, followed by Amad who could score 22 runs off 15 deliveries.
Hawks' Zaman, Afridi and Asif got two wickets apiece.
The league has six franchises — Rawalakot Hawks, Kotli Lions, Mirpur Royals, Muzaffarabad Tigers, Overseas Warriors, and Bagh Stallions — who are contesting for the prestigious trophy in 18 matches till August 17.
The Mirpur Royals will play under the captaincy of Shoaib Malik, Bagh Stallions will strive for the trophy with skipper Shadab Khan, while the Muzaffarabad Tigers will fight under Muhammed Hafeez.
Meanwhile, Imad Wasim is all set to lead the Overseas Warriors, with Fakhar Zaman leading Kotli Lions and Shahid Afridi leading the Rawalakot Hawks.