PSL 2019: Peshawar Zalmi pacer Wahab Riaz tones down wicket celebrations on coach's advice

Waseem Ahmed 14/03/2019
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Wahab Riaz. Image - @thePSLt20/Twitter.

Wahab Riaz’s trademark wicket-taking celebrations could be a thing of the past with the Peshawar Zalmi pacer revealing he has been asked to tone it down by his coach.

The all-time leading wicket-taker in Pakistan Super League (PSL) history has become synonymous with his moustache swirling and sword slashing celebrations but it seems like it has not gone down well with his coach.

“My coach has told me to lay off this celebration style and, in fact, all the bowlers have been told to avoid excessive celebrations after taking a wicket,” the Peshawar pacer was quoted as saying by SportStar.

“I am back to a clean shave and avoiding taking a wicket with my slitting the throat celebration as I also realised it could lead to criticism and unnecessary controversies. I didn’t look very nice after I saw it on screen myself,” he added.

The veteran pacer has once again played a vital role for Peshawar Zalmi with 15 wickets and counting in the ongoing PSL edition. The left-armer was in his elements on Wednesday as well in the Qualifier against Quetta Gladiators where he picked up two wickets in his side’s narrow 10-run loss.

Despite his impressive displays, they haven’t been enough to earn Wahab a recall to the Pakistan ODI side with young Mohammad Hasnain being preferred instead for the upcoming series against Australia. The 33-year-old, however, remains unperturbed although he has not given up hopes on a World Cup berth just yet.

“That I very disappointed would be an understatement but I have learnt to take such things in my stride and just keep on doing my best and that is what I am doing in the PSL,” Wahab said.

“I know I still have plenty of cricket left in me and I can make an impact in the World Cup but rest is up to the selectors. But, yes, I would like to know where my future stands.”

Wahab will now hope to impress the Pakistan selectors when Peshawar Zalmi lock horns in the second PSL Eliminator on Friday at Karachi. The 2017 champions will book their third PSL final appearance in four years should they emerge victorious in the clash.

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PSL 2019: All-round Watson, devastating Hasnain send Quetta into final after tense win over Peshawar

Waseem Ahmed 13/03/2019
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Shane Watson had a brilliant all-round game. Image: PSL/Twitter

Quetta Gladiators stormed to their third PSL final after defeating Peshawar Zalmi by 10 runs in a tense Qualifier in Karachi on Wednesday.

Opening batsman Shane Watson took his brilliant from right into the playoffs, smashing 71 from 43 deliveries as Quetta reached 186-6.

While the pitch at the National Stadium is a batting beauty, Zalmi didn’t find that to be the case as the top order struggled to get any momentum going.

West Indies all-rounder Darren Sammy (46) and Kieron Pollard (44) mounted a late charge, adding 83 runs in six overs to take Zalmi close to an improbable win after being 90-5.

But with 21 runs needed, Watson bowled a brilliant final over to clean bowl Pollard and then saw Sammy run out as Quetta made it to the final.

Quetta pacers Sohail Tanvir and Mohammad Hasnain had put the squeeze early on, going for seven or less an over. From the other end, left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz bowled stump to stump and gave nothing away, going for just 25 from his four overs and picking up the wicket of Sohaib Maqsood.

In-form opener Imam-ul-Haq looked like steering the chase but saw his stumps rattled by part time spinner Rilee Rossouw trying to play a late cut.

The burden once again fell on the shoulders of Misbah-ul-Haq and he tried to keep up with the scoring rate, but Hasnain returned to pin him on the back foot and have the veteran lbw for 18.

Hasnain inflicted more damage on Peshawar, hitting captain Darren Sammy in the lower abdomen first ball. At 90-5, it looked like game over. But Pollard and Sammy kept Peshawar in the hunt, despite the serious blow the latter had taken. That injury probably had a role to play in Sammy getting run out in the final over as he struggle to stretch.

Earlier, Watson and Ahsan Ali (46) added 111 runs for the second wicket to set the foundation for a big total. However, Peshawar hit back with three quick wickets, reducing them to 137-4. But some late hitting by Umar Akmal took Quetta closer to a big total.

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PSL 2019 LIVE: Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators battle for a place in final

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Kieron Pollard. Image - @thePSLt20/Twitter.

A place in the 2019 Pakistan Super League (PSL) is up for grabs as Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators clash in the Qualifier at Karachi.

Both teams progressed to the play-off by winning seven out of their 10 respective matches although it is Peshawar who finished the league stage on top due to their superior net run-rate.

2017 champions Peshawar are bidding to make their third PSL final appearance in a row after finishing as runners-up last season. Quetta, too, are aiming to make it three appearances in the final although they are yet to win the competition.

Do not miss the action from the National Stadium in Lahore by following the ball-by-ball updates below.

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