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Virat Kohli up next as Haris Rauf ticks off ‘bucket list’ wicket in big PSL clash


Haris Rauf added two wickets to his tally for the season in the 2023 Pakistan Super League (PSL) on Tuesday. Playing for Lahore Qalandars against Peshawar Zalmi, Rauf recorded figures of 2/35. In what turned out to be a high scoring match, Peshawar were all out for 207 runs despite Rauf’s efforts and Shaheen Afridi taking four wickets.

His first wicket of the match was the all-important scalp of Peshawar captain Babar Azam. Babar had shared a 107-run opening stand with Saim Ayub and scored 50 off 41 balls when he fell to Rauf. Rauf’s second wicket was that of Tom Kohler-Cadmore who had scored 36 off 16 balls. This marked the first time that Rauf got the wicket of Babar Azam, who is also his captain in the Pakistan cricket team. Rauf had said earlier that Babar’s wicket is among those he wishes to take in his “bucket list” and this also includes former India captain Virat Kohli.

In a video shared by Lahore Qalandars on Twitter in February, Rauf was seen having an amusing conversation with Babar, where he stated that he wanted to dismiss the Pakistan batter and Kohli. “No matter what happens. I just need to take your wicket! Only Kohli and you are the exception right now. Williamson was saved from slip twice. But I have these 3-4 players, in my mind”, Haris told Babar.

Reacting to Rauf’s words, Babar had a hilarious reply. He said, “But you already got me in practice sessions. Why don’t you consider those?” Rauf, who began to laugh, replied, “No. I need your wicket in the match.”

Kohli was in dominant form against Rauf during last year’s T20 World Cup, where India won by four wickets. Chasing a target of 160 runs, Kohli slammed two consecutive sixes off Rauf in the 19th over which proved to be the turning point in the match, and India went on to reach 160/6 in 20 overs. Kohli was the Man of the Match, smacking an unbeaten knock of 82 runs off 53 balls, packed with six fours and four sixes. He also finished as the highest run-scorer in the tournament with 296 runs in six games, but couldn’t prevent a semi-final defeat for India.

“Anyone who knows cricket knows what sort of a player he is. He has played that shot now; I don’t think he can do that again. Such shots are quite rare, you can’t hit them again and again. His timing was perfect and it went for a six,” Harif had said on the show ‘Hasna Mana Hai’ back in December



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