Peshawar Zalmi made it to the final of the sixth Pakistan Super League on Tuesday after beating Islamabad United by eight wickets after a 175-point chase.
The Zalmi – who have reached the final for the fourth time – will now face Multan Sultans on June 24 at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Zalmi Wahab Riaz skipper put United in first place, who scored 174 for the loss of nine wickets.
Hasan Ali’s start with the ball was not as effective as his serve in the first innings, where he hit 45 of 16 balls. The pacer gave a total of 15 points, of which six extra, in the first over. However, he ended on a positive note by pushing back Kamran Akmal (8) in the last ball.
Mohammad Wasim was finally able to give United a breakthrough as he sacked Zazai (66) in the 15th over, breaking the 126-point partnership between the Afghan hitter and Wells (55).
Shoaib Malik (32), who came to the fold after Zazai was sent off, scored three consecutive fours in the 17th over to finish the match high and take his team to the final.
The innings of Islamabad United
Islamabad United handed a 175-point goal to Peshawar Zalmi.
Usman Khawaja went for a duck, Colin Munro scored 44, Muhammad Akhlaq 7, Brandon King 18, Iftikhar Ahmed 10, Shadab Khan 15, Asif Ali 8, Faheem Ashraf 1, Hasan Ali 45 and Mohammad Wasim stayed out for 17 not out.
Skipper Riaz and Umaid Asif got two wickets each, while Amad Butt, Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Imran were able to collect one wicket each.
Shoaib Malik’s delivery in the first over to Colin Munro saw the unfortunate dismissal of Khawaja (0) who was exhausted when the hitter hit Malik and the veteran handyman’s shoelace touched the ball and hit the end of the non-striker, helping his team get the first and important breakthrough.
In the second over, pacer Imran caught Akhlaq (7), while the batter attempted to hit him on a thin leg, giving wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal an easy catch.
To round off the powerplay, Munro (44), in the sixth over, scored 19 points – three fours, one six and one point – to Asif to get his team back into the game and put the pressure back on Zalmi.
In the eighth over, Malik lost the hold of Brandon King, but Butt did not give up and dismissed the West Indian hitter for 18 in the last ball of the over, with a comfortable hold from Asif.
Akmal lost a major Munro hold in the ninth over – which commentator Ramiz Raja said was equivalent to losing half the game – but three balls later, he took the much needed hold, and Irfan caught the New Zealand hitter for 44 runs. .
Pacer Irfan began to struggle with what appeared to be a foot injury after completing four overs for 21. The referees seemed dissatisfied with the explanation and Zalmi was one less defender.
Iftikhar (10) was sent off in the 13th over after stealing the ball and being caught behind, giving the Zalmi Riaz captain his first wicket.
Asif, in the 15th over, threw a short ball with an extra rebound to Shadab Khan (15), who stole the ball and sent it safely into the wicketkeeper’s hands.
In the same over, Asif managed to get an important wicket from Ali (8), with an impressive hold by Sherfane Rutherford, a few meters from the ropes.
The referees, in the 15th over, allowed Zalmi to replace Irfan with a substitute after making sure he was injured.
Riaz took eighth wicket for his team after firing Ashraf (1).
To take some pressure off United, Ali beat 21 points – two fours, two sixes and one point – against Asif in the 17th over. The over raked in 22 points.
Ali was able to turn things around for United, as he took Zalmi’s skipper to the scavengers by scoring 18 points in the 19th over.
Despite 16 points from the last over of the match, the Zalmi managed to expel Ali for 45 points.