41-year-old Brad Hodge can still compete with any young cricketer. He turned around the fortune of Peshawar Zalmi from nowhere into the realms of possibility at Dubai Cricket Stadium with a blinder a knock. His 45 ball 85 blew away Karachi Kings to win the match for Peshawar by five wickets and move to the top of the PSL standings.
Hodge hit six sixes and six fours in his unbeaten 85 runs that helped Peshawar recover from 69 for 4 in 11.5 overs to overhaul Karachi’s 151 for 7 with nine balls to spare. The turning point of the match was 16th over in Peshawar’s chase when Hodge smashed a four and three successive sixes to reduce the burden to 32 off the last four overs.
The next over was smashed for 14, and the wheels came off Karachi’s bowling unit, with Darren Sammy sealing the game with a muscular hit into the stands at deep midwicket.
Earlier, Karachi batting first set a target of 153 for Peshawar. Lendl Simmons top scored with 49 and held the innings together for a while before it fell apart as the top order and middle order broke like a pack of cards. The second highest scorer of the innings was Ravi Bopara, who made a 22 ball 23 to shore up the total after middle-order meltdown.
Peshawar started badly as the new ball pair of Mohammad Amir and Bilawal Bhatti removed the openers with the score at just 25 inside five overs. Jim Allenby, the Australian batsman, revived the innings with a 29 ball 31, but his dismissal followed by Shahid Afridi’s in consecutive overs meant the chase hit a roadblock at 69 for 4.
But Peshawar’s derailed innings was put on the track by Hodge. He used his brute strength and fitness to turn the game in no time. Such was the quality of his knock that even the dismissal of Kamran Akmal, with Peshawar still needing 32, largely went unnoticed.