Islamabad United down Peshawar Zalmi to set up PSL 9 final with Multan Sultans

Islamabad United down Peshawar Zalmi

KARACHI, MAR 17: Imad Wasim and Haider Ali starred as Islamabad United beat Peshawar Zalmi by five wickets in the Eliminator 2 of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season at Karachi’s National Bank Cricket Arena.

This is United’s first PSL final since 2018 and they will face Multan Sultans on March 18 at the same venue.

The chase started with Zalmi’s spinners dominating with early dismissals. Saim Ayub had the better of Alex Hales (1) while he cleaned up Salman Ali Agha (5) in his following over.

Emerging left-arm spinner removed United skipper Shadab Khan on a duck. Martin Guptill (34) went berserk on Saim Ayub, scoring 22 runs but his knock came to an end in the final over of the powerplay with United reeling on 50/4.

United needed an anchor and Imad Wasim stepped up. First, he formed a partnership with Azam Khan and later with Haider Ali.

Azam scored 22 off 17 balls with the help of a four and a six with Luke Wood ending a 41-run stand

Haider arrived with a mission and attacked Zalmi bowlers from the start. The duo took calculated risks while keeping up with the required run rate and formed a 98-run stand for the sixth wicket.

Imad scored his first fifty of the season, remaining unbeaten on 59 off 40 balls while Haider smashed 29-ball 52 with five massive sixes and two fours.

Earlier, Saim Ayub’s flamboyant 73-run innings, coupled with Mohammad Haris’ 40, propelled Zalmi to 185/5.

Sent in to bat first by United, Zalmi made a strong start to their innings with their in-form opening duo of Babar Azam and Saim once again laying the groundwork for a substantial total.

Saim took charge during the opening partnership while Babar played a more cautious innings until he was dismissed by Naseem Shah after scoring 72 runs.

Attempting to attack a length delivery from Naseem, Babar couldn’t connect properly and was caught brilliantly by Shadab Khan.

Babar managed a scrappy 25 off 22 deliveries, including two boundaries and a six.

Haris joined Saim in the middle, and together they ensured the momentum continued with a 59-run partnership until Saim departed in the 15th over.

Saim Ayub emerged as the top-scorer for Peshawar Zalmi with a blistering 44-ball 73, featuring six boundaries and four sixes.

In the following over, Haris fell victim to Naseem with a soft dismissal. He contributed with three boundaries and two sixes on his way to a quickfire 25-ball 40.

Subsequently, brisk innings from Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Aamer Jamal pushed Zalmi’s total beyond the 180-run mark.

Naseem Shah led the bowling attack for United, claiming figures of 3/30 in his four overs, while Shadab and Obed McCoy chipped in with one wicket each.