ABU DHABI: Peshawar Zalmi have knocked out defending champions Karachi Kings in Pakistan Super League (PSL) season six’s Eliminator by five wickets.
The match went down the wire as Zalmi chased down the target of fifth ball of the final over. Zalmi will now meet Islamabad United today at 9.00 pm in Qualifier two at the same venue.
Earlier, Thisara Perera played a cameo of 37 runs as Karachi Kings posted a commendable total of 175-7 in 20 overs.
Perera rescued the Kings after they managed to score just 73 for the loss of three wickets in 11.2 overs. The left-handed batsman took charge and smashed four boundaries and three sixes to take the Kings to an aggressive position.
Babar Azam played a composed inning of 53 runs off 45 balls with the help of six boundaries. He played at a strike rate of 117.77 to score his seventh fifty in this tournament.
Imad Wasim struck a boundary and a six to score 16 off nine balls whereas Danish Aziz made 13 with the help of just a six.
For Zalmi, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan, and Umaid Asif bagged two wickets each while Mohammad Imran picked up a scalp.
Set to chase 176, Zalmi started aggressively as Zazai smacked from ball one. He hit a four to Imad to start the proceeding.
Zazai didn’t stop and continued to accelerate while Kamran Akmal was just a spectator watching Zazai’s power slot.
Kamran hit first two balls for boundaries to mystery spinner Noor Ahmed. Noor made a brilliant comeback and rattled Kamran’s stumps completely.
Meanwhile, Zazai completed his second PSL fifty in just 23 balls while Imam-ul-Haq played a slow inning. He faced 17 balls for 11 and was removed by Thisara Perera after an inside-edge went onto the stumps.
Veteran Shoaib Malik joined Zazai in the middle. Zazai’s domination came to end in the 12th over as he played straight into the hand of Martin Guptill off Perera. Zazai stroked 77 off just 38 balls, powered by 10 fours and five sixes.
For fourth wicket, Malik and Khalid Usman steadied Zalmi after Zazai’s heroics. Malik took most balls to settle while Khalid played at a run-a-ball.
Malik smacked a six off last ball off Noor’s spell while Khalid smashed one off Mohammad Amir’s last ball of the 17th over. He brought up 50-run stand in 39 balls.
Mohammad Ilyas had the better of Khalid as he tried to slog and got an inside edge, hitting the stumps. Khalid made 14-ball 17.
Amir took the price wicket of well-set Malik in the following over, however, West Indies’ Sherfane Rutherford (17*) guided Zalmi to win by five wickets.