PSL: Peshawar Zalmi beat Islamabad United, qualified for the fourth final

PSL: Peshawar Zalmi beat Islamabad United, qualified for the fourth final

In-form Afghanistan opener Hazratullah Zazai and Jonathan Wells propelled Peshawar Zalmi to its fourth Pakistan Super League final with a thumping eight-wicket victory over Islamabad United within the playoffs on Tuesday.

Left-handed Zazai, dropped on 7, smashed 66 off 44 balls and Wells, playing his first PSL game, made an unbeaten 55 as Peshawar romped to 177-2 with quite three overs to spare.

Islamabad earlier got the momentum back through Hasan Ali’s blistering 45 off just 16 balls to post what looked a challenging total of 174-9.

“It was a difficult route we took to the ultimate but it’s an excellent feeling,” Peshawar skipper Wahab Riaz said. “We gave away some runs within the previous couple of overs but the way we responded was great to ascertain .”

Peshawar will face Multan Sultans within the final on Thursday.

Zazai made a blistering 77 to knock out defending champion Karachi Kings on Monday and continued his rich form with another half century that featured six fours and 4 towering sixes.

Ali could have dismissed Zazai within the third over, but wicketkeeper Muhammad Akhlaq dropped a coffee catch that cost Islamabad dearly within the end.

Zazai added a match-winning 126 off just 81 balls with Wells before Shoaib Malik scored 32 off just 10 balls to end off the sport in 16.5 overs. Malik smashed captain Shadab Khan (0-55) for 2 fours and a six in one over before raising the victory with three consecutive boundaries against Ali.

Earlier, Islamabad struggled to attain after their in-form opener Usman Khawaja was run call at the primary over. Colin Munro’s (44) straight drive hit the stumps at the non-striker’s end after flicking the boot of Malik as Khawaja was left stranded out of the crease.

Riaz (2-35) and Umaid Asif (2-44) picked up wickets with regular intervals as Islamabad reeled at 110-8 within the 16th over.

But Ali smashed Asif for 22 within the 17th over before Riaz went for 18 off his last over as Islamabad scored 64 runs off the last four before the two-time champion crashed out of the tournament.

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