The 2017 edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is becoming more and more unpredictable both on and off the field. Even as the corruption scandal has threatened to take the sheen away from the tournament, the riveting on-field action is getting the focus back on cricket. Plenty of tight low-scoring games on tricky pitches has added to the spectacle.
In one such thrilling encounter between Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai, the former collapsed to 59 all out in just 10.2 overs. Only once in the history of T20 cricket has unfurled a shorter completed team innings in terms of balls bowled. In a 2013 Victory Day T20 Cup clash against Prime Bank Cricket Club, Mohammedan Sporting Club were dismissed for 45 in 8.4 overs.
So, what happened in the second shortest completed team innings in T20s? Zalmi skipper Darren Sammy won the toss and decided to inserted the Qalandars on a bowler-friendly surface. He opened the proceedings with left-arm spinner Mohammad Asghar. His decision was vindicated as rival captain Brendon McCullum mistimed a pull and holed out in the final delivery of the first over.
Jason Roy’s belligerence got the better of him and Umar Akmal’s lack of application left the Qalandars reeling at 9/3 at the end of the second over. Hasan Ali soon procured his third wicket when Grant Elliot edged one to Sammy at slip.
A semblance of partnership raised hopes of reviving the innings. However, the dominoes began to fall rapidly. Mohammad Rizwan succumbed to a miscalculated shot and the lower-order batsmen were in much earlier than they would have anticipated.
Even as his partners kept deserting him, the 26-year old Fakhar Zaman looked to counterattack and reclaim the momentum. However, he was dismissed as well for a valiant 19-ball 33. Zalmi’s bowlers maintained their intensity and cleaned up the tail in a jiffy. Apart from Zaman and Rizwan, no other batsman managed to enter into double-digits.
A run-chase, which should have been quite straightforward, was complicated by some excellent bowling from Qalandars. Despite the best attempts of Yasir Shah (whose figures read 4-0-7-4) and Sunil Narine, Zalmi held on for a narrow three-wicket victory.
The match will be remembered for Qalandars’ innings which appeared to be completed in a jiffy. Here are the top ten shortest team innings in the history of T20 cricket in terms of balls faced. Interestingly, only two of the entries in the list transpired at the international level.
|Mohammedan Sporting Club||45||8.4||52||Prime Bank Cricket Club||Victory Day T20 Cup||Bangladesh||Sylhet||26 December 2013|
|Lahore Qalandars||59||10.2||62||Peshawar Zalmi||Pakistan Super League||United Arab Emirates||Dubai||12 February 2017|
|Essex||82||10.3||63||Somerset||Friends Life T20||United Kingdom||Chelmsford||15 June 2011|
|Netherlands||55||10.3||63||Sri Lanka||ICC World T20||Bangladesh||Chittagong||24 March 2014|
|Namibia||44||10.4||64||Scotland||Unofficial T20I series||Namibia||Windhoek||5 October 2011|
|Khulna Titans||30||10.4||64||Rangpur Riders||Bangladesh Premier League||Bangladesh||Mirpur||10 November 2016|
|Tripura||91||11.1||67||Jharkhand||Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy||India||Dhanbad||20 October 2009|
|Kent||59||11.4||70||Surrey||Twenty20 Cup||United Kingdom||London||28 June 2006|
|Mountaineers||59||11.5||71||Mashonaland Eagles||Stanbic Bank 20 Series||Zimbabwe||Harare||19 February 2010|
|Sylhet Super Stars||59||11.5||71||Rangpur Riders||Bangladesh Premier League||Bangladesh||Mirpur||7 December 2015|
(*Note: All Statistics are accurate as of 12th February 2017)