LAHORE: In a nail-biting finish, the Lahore Qalandars defeated Peshawar Zalmi by four wickets and moved to the Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) final, where they will face Multan Sultans and battle it out for the title of season eight.
Chasing the 172-run target, the Qalandars managed to reach home in 18.5 overs.
They lost Fakhar Zaman (6) early to Azmatullah Omarzai after he has castled while trying to play a big heave.
Meanwhile, Ahsan Hafeez, who was playing his first PSL match, handed a simple catch to wicketkeeper Haseebullah after he top-edged a ball from Wahab Riaz. The left-hander scored 15 runs in 10 balls.
After a big mixup between Abdullah Shafique and Mirza Tahir Baig, the former was sent packing. The right-hander scored run-a-ball 10.
Shafique’s departure brought Sam Billings to the crease, who along with Tahir got the Qalandars’ run-chase back on track with a crucial 50-run partnership in only 28 balls. However, Tahir was dismissed after reaching his maiden T20 fifty with Aamer Jamal bagging the crucial scalp. He scored 54 runs in 42 balls with the help of seven fours and two sixes.
Billings was cleaned up by a superb yorker by Salman Irshad. He scored 28 valuable runs in 21 balls. Meanwhile, Sikandar Raza scored 22 runs in 13 balls.
Shaheen Afridi smacked a six and four in the 19th over to get his team over the line.
Earlier, Zalmi scored 171-5 in their allotted 20 overs.
Pacer Zaman Khan to his side provided an early breakthrough after he shattered Saim Ayub’s (9) stumps with a delivery that darted back in off the pitch.
After the early setback, Babar Azam and Mohammad Haris added 89 runs in 60 balls for the second wicket to put Zalmi in control of the match.
However, just when the Qalandars needed it, Rashid Khan claimed two wickets in the same over to send Babar (42 off 36) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (0) back to the hut.
Although, Haris kept on playing shots with ease and went on to score 85 runs in 54 balls. His impressive knock included 11 fours and two sixes.
Shaheen was expensive with the ball as he conceded 41 runs in four overs but sent Haris back to the pavilion on the final delivery of his spell.
Zaman was the pick of the bowlers for the Qalandars with figures of 2-20 in three overs.