Mohammad Haris (79) spurred Peshawar Zalmi to a close 13-run victory against Islamabad United on the Pindi Stadium’s pitch having an edge to the pacers against what was on display during the last ten days of Pakistan Super League action. Haris’ innings of substance and aggression saw Peshawar hit up 179-8 with United falling short by 13 runs, getting bowled out for 166 in the last over, despite some late power-hitting exhibition by Faheem Ashraf (38).
Khurram Shahzad’s (3-13) last over produced magic as he picked two wickets required to settle the issue. The result more importantly decided the fate of the qualifiers and eliminators. Courtesy of Zalmi’s win, Multan Sultans have now made it to the qualifiers with Peshawar and Islamabad left to play the eliminator on March 16. Before that Multan and Lahore will be pitted against each other on March 15 for a place in the PSL final.
Peshawar Zalmi Beats United
The losers of the qualifier will have a second chance to play against the winner of the first eliminator. Peshawar Zalmi’s innings revolved around man-of-the-match Haris’ entertaining 79 on a pitch that was a bit different as compared to its previous behavior. Controlled innings by Haris and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (41) saw Zalmi raising 115 runs for the second wicket.
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Following Saim Ayub’s (0) early departure, both the batsmen measured their innings well, keeping up a free-flowing run tempo and enabling the opponents to keep a decent run-scoring tempo. Haris backed up his 26-ball fifty with two fours and one six off United skipper Shadab who yet again bowled expensive first two overs conceding 27.
At the halfway stage, Zalmi reached 116-1 with Haris already taking over a pinch-hitting role. By ten overs, the right-handed attacking batsman had already struck seven fours and five sixes in an inning of authority and aggression.
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Rajapaksa was a bit slow, losing his wicket immediately following the lemon break with Munro taking a well-judged catch at the mid-wicket fence, stepping out, and throwing the ball in the air before retaining the possession inside the boundary.
Stand-in skipper Tom Kohler-Cadmore (12) could not survive long. His wicket triggered Zamli’s mini collapse as Peshawar Zalmi lost five more wickets inside 30 more runs. Haseebullah Khan (10), James Neesham (1), and Aamir Jamal (9) were the wickets to fall besides that of the top-scorer Haris. United’s innings never stood on sound footing as the team kept on losing wickets at regular intervals.
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When Rahmanullah Gurbaz (33) and Shadab Khan (28) were at the crease, Islamabad United for a brief period looked threatening to take the attack back to bowlers. However, once Shadab was dislodged, even Faheem’s sizzling sixes were not enough to help out United.
Faheem was seen smashing four sixes and two fours during his 13-ball 38 to take United close to winning. The innings were, however, not enough at the end with Khurram Shahzad who surprisingly bowled just 1.4 overs accounting for the last two to win the day for Peshawar Zalmi.
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