Hasan Ali (3-29) and Chris Jordan (3-26) defended 215 runs for Peshawar Zalmi as they beat Islamabad United by 48 runs in Eliminator 2 to qualify for the final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season four.
It were batsmen who led Zalmi to a mammoth total against a well-balanced United’s squad. Kamran Akmal and Imam-ul-Haq hold the charge for their team by scoring 135 runs opening partnership.
Both the openers put Zalmi in the driving seat after they were sent to bat first on the pitch which offered much to the batsmen. The real power-hitting was seen in front of an enthusiastic crowd which was cheering the revival of cricket.
Kamran made 74 runs while Imam blasted his way to scoring 58 runs off 33 balls with the help of seven boundaries and two sizes.
In just five overs, Zalmi posted 51 runs on the scoreboard without losing any wicket which ensured their smooth and aggressive form. The scoreboard read 117-0 in 10 overs and it looked that both openers were not in a mood to leave any of the opponent’s bowler.
At last in 13th over, Cameron Delport brought the first breakthrough for United as Imam misjudged the ball and edged it high in the sky. Ronchi, behind the stumps, took a well-running catch.
In the same over, Delport removed the second opener Kamran who struck 10 boundaries and three sixes.
Darren Sammy, in the end, played a cameo of 30 runs to further strengthen the total of Zalmi and put United under immense pressure.
Cameron Delport bagged two wickets for United while Shadab Khan took a wicket.
In reply, United started their inning with their openers Luke Ronchi and Cameron Delport with a hope to get over the opponents but couldn’t get the required start as they lost Ronchi earlier on just 24 runs.
Chris Jordan in next over made Alex Hales his target and got rid of him as the right-hander gave away a simple catch in the hands of Pollard.
Hasan hunted the second opener of United Delport by deceiving him with a length ball. He made 28 runs including just three boundaries.
Chadwick Walton fought hard for the men in red by scoring 48 runs but couldn’t finish it for his team after falling to Tymal Mills who took a wicket.
Faheem Ashraf played a quick inning of 34 runs off just 14 balls but it was not enough for United to notch a victory against Zalmi who dominated the encounter in front of a jam-packed National Stadium.
Apart from Jordan and Hasan, Mills, Pollard and, Wahab Riaz played a crucial role in Zalmi’s victory by taking a wicket each.
With this win, Zalmi has set final clash of the tournament with Quetta Gladiators which is scheduled on March 10.