ABU DHABI: In a battle of nerves, Peshawar Zalmi triumphed over defending champions Karachi Kings in the first Eliminator of the Pakistan Super League’s sixth edition at UAE’s Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Peshawar defeated Karachi by five wickets in their 176-run chase — knocking the Imad Wasim-led side out of the tournament. Zalmi will now meet Islamabad United in eliminator 2 on June 22. The winner of the match will qualify for the final, where they will face off against Multan Sultans.
For Zalmi, openers Hazratullah Zazai and Kamran Akmal had taken them to 49 before Noor Ahmed drew first blood. Ahmed removed Kamran Akmal for 13 in the fifth over of Zalmi’s innings.
Zazai who was hitting the Kings’ bowlers all over the ground completed his half-century from 23 balls in the seventh over. The Afghan was hitting so cleanly that Kings star bowler and fellow countryman Ahmed was also looking clueless against him. Peshawar lost their second wicket from the last ball of the 10th over. It was Thisara Perera that removed Imam-ul-Haq to put Zalmi two down. In the 12th over, Perera removed the dangerous Zazai for 77 and put Zalmi three down.
The removal had slowed down the runs for Peshawar and they needed 44 runs from the last 30 balls. And in the 18th over, Peshawar lost Khalid Usman who was bowled by Mohammad Ilyas. At that point, Zalmi needed 21 runs in 16 balls. In the 19th over, Mohammad Amir removed Shoaib Malik to give some hope to his Karachi side. When Malik was dismissed Zalmi required 13 runs from 10 balls. After the end of Amir’s over. Zalmi needed seven runs in the last six balls to secure a win. However, West Indian Sherane Rutherford guided his team to the finishing line with one ball to spare.