Ravi Bopara got his Pakistan Super League off to a fine start with a half-century for Peshawar Zalmi in their opening match of the tournament on Sunday. It was his Sussex Sharks’ Vitality Blast teammates Rashid Khan and David Wiese who emerged victorious, however, after a tidy bowling performance from both players helped set up a four-wicket win for Lahore Qalandars.
Asked to bat first at the National Stadium in Karachi, the Zalmi posted 140 for 6, with Ravi top-scoring with 50 from 44 deliveries. Rashid went for just 14 runs from his four overs and took the catch that dismissed Ravi in the penultimate over. David picked up the wicket Shoaib Malik and went at a very respectable 7.5 runs per over during his allocation.
During the Qalandars’ chase, David was leg before first ball to give England paceman Saqib Mahmood two wickets in two balls and the Zalmi a glimmer of hope of victory. A typically ebullient cameo from Rashid (27 off 15 balls) saw the Qalandars home, however, with nine balls to spare.
In the second game of the day, Sussex’s other representative in this year’s PSL, Phil Salt, made 13 off 12 balls at the top of the order for Islamabad United as the two-time champions beat Multan Sultans by three wickets with an over to spare. Keeping wicket for Islamabad, Phil had earlier taken a catch to dismiss Chris Lynn off the bowling of Faheem Ashraf as Multan posted 150 for 8.
David, Rashid and the Qalandars are back in action against Quetta Gladiators on Monday. Ravi and Peshawar Zalmi play Multan Sultans on Tuesday, while Phil and Islamabad United’s next match is against reigning champions Karachi Kings on Wednesday.