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Cooper’s brilliance inspires Qalanders

...but Gayle fails again
Sunday, February 14, 2016
Medium pacer Kevon Cooper...bowled brilliantly to take Qalanders to victory.

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates—Superstar opener Chris Gayle failed yet again with another first ball ‘duck’ but T&T’s seamer Kevon Cooper’s brilliant three-wicket haul was enough to fire Lahore Qalanders to a narrow four-run victory over Darren Sammy’s Peshawar Zalmi yesterday.

Sent in, Qalanders posted 164 for three off their 20 overs at Sharjah Cricket Stadium and then limited Zalmi to 160 for seven off their 20 overs, after they needed 16 runs from the final over.

Cooper was at the heart of the victory, finishing with three for 25 from his four overs but more importantly, sending down a tight penultimate over which cost just two runs.

In fact, he conceded just eight runs from his last overs which were bowled in pressure situations as Zalmi’s batsmen attacked late on. He was supported by South African Cameron Delport who claimed three for 18 with his seamers while all-rounder Dwayne Bravo went wicket-less from his four overs which cost 28 runs.

Englishman Dawid Malan top-scored with 42 off 35 deliveries while Bangladeshi opener Tamim Iqbal chipped in with 30 from 22 balls. Sammy, batting at number seven, made six before falling to Cooper in the 17th over, caught at cover mis-timing a big hit at a slower delivery.

Earlier, Gayle’s failures in the inaugural Pakistan Super League tournament continued when he missed a seaming full length delivery from Junaid Khan and was lbw to the third ball of the game. For the left-hander, it was his second first ball ‘duck’ following a similar indignity against Zalmi a week ago. He had struck 37 from 28 balls on Friday in Qalanders’ 27-run defeat to Karachi Kings.

While Gayle failed yesterday, Delport slammed 78 from 61 balls and Pakistani Umar Akmal stroked an unbeaten 52 from 31 deliveries, in a 101-run, third wicket stand to lift the innings.