LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Peshawar Zalmi made a stunning comeback to eliminate Islamabad United from the Pakistan Super League playoffs by 12 runs on Thursday.
Peshawar will take on defending champions the Lahore Qalandars in the second elimination game on Friday. The winner goes to the rescheduled final against Multan Sultans on Saturday.
The final was brought forward by a day because of rain forecast on Sunday.
Islamabad was crushing the chase at 128-1 after 14 overs on the back of a century stand between Sohaib Maqsood (60) and Alex Hales (57) when Peshawar’s unheralded pacers, Salman Irshad (2-18) and Aamer Jamal (2-36), turned the game on its head.
They restricted Islamabad to 171-6 in reply to Peshawar's 183-8.
Babar Azam led Peshawar with 64 runs off 39 balls.
Sohaib and Hales combined for 115 runs until Aamer ignited the collapse when he clean bowled Sohaib off a fuller delivery and Salman knocked back the stumps of Azam Khan.
Aamer bowled Hales off a yorker and brilliantly fielded off his follow through to run out Faheem Ashraf at the non-striker’s end.
Needing 24 off Aamer’s last over, Islamabad captain Shadab Khan could hit just one six and fell out of the race for a third title.
Babar's fifth half-century this season made him the fastest player to 9,000 Twenty20 runs in his 245th game, breaking Chris Gayle’s record of 249 games.
After Babar was trapped by Shadab in the 13th over, Peshawar went 46-5 in the last seven overs.
Afghanistan fast bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi, Faheem, and Mohammad Wasim bowled brilliantly in the last five overs to concede only four boundaries to Peshawar. But Peshawar would have an even better death bowling response. ___ More AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports