Zalmi kicks United out of PSL Final race

Sports Desk

LAHORE: Peshawar Zalmi knocked out Islamabad United during the first Eliminator of the eighth season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and live to fight another day.
Zalmi had set a 184-run target for United in the first eliminator played at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore.
They will now take on Lahore Qalandars and fight for a spot in the final. The second Elimina-tor will be played at the same venue tomorrow. During the run-chase, Azmatullah

Omarzai provided an early wicket to Zalmi as Rahmanullah Gurbaz was sent back to the dugout after scoring 10 runs.
However, Alex Hales and Sohaib Maqsood took the attack to the opposition with some clean hitting. The duo added 115 runs for the second wicket partnership and put their team in the driving seat.
The century stand was finally broken by Aamer Jamal, who clean-bowled Sohaib Maqsood but not before the right-hander had scored 60 runs in 48 balls.
After Maqsood’s departure, Zalmi didn’t look back and took control of the match with some clever bowling and regular wickets.
Azam Khan (2) also went back to the dugout without a significant contribution. He was sent packing by Salman Irshad after being beaten for pace.
Hales also followed soon after as Jamal nailed a yorker to shatter the English batter’s stumps. The right-hander scored 57 runs in 37 balls with the help of nine boundaries.
Faheem Ashraf, who slipped while trying to return to the crease, was run out after a direct hit from Jamal.
Captain Shadab scored unbeaten 26 runs in 12 balls but that was not enough to get his side over the line.
Irshad was the pick of the Zalmi bowlers with figures of 2-18 in four overs.
Earlier, Zalmi were restricted to 183-8 in 20 overs after openers Babar Azam and Saim Ayub made an explosive start with 60 runs in only 4.4 overs.
However, pacer Mohammad Wasim Jr provided a much-needed breakthrough to United after Ayub, who scored 23 runs in 16 balls, miscued a pull shot and was caught at mid-on by Faheem Ashraf.
Babar looked in great touch and scored 64 runs in 39 balls with the help of 10 fours.
The Zalmi captain also became the fastest player to score 9,000 runs in T20 cricket during his impressive knock. Before today’s match, the Zalmi skipper needed 35 runs to achieve the mile-stone which he did with ease courtesy some splendid shots.
Mohammad Haris also provided the impetus to the innings in the middle overs with a brisk cameo of 34 in 17 balls. He smacked three fours and two maximums.
After a strong start, it seemed as Zalmi would easily post a total in excess of 200. However, United made a strong comeback in the death overs to ensure that was not the case, restricting Zalmi to 35 runs at the loss of four wickets in the last five overs.
The United captain claimed two wickets, including the prized scalp of Azam, but conceded 40 runs in his four overs.