Babar Azam led-Peshawar Zalmi trumped Shadab Khan-led Islamabad United by 12 runs in the first Eliminator of Pakistan Super League (PSL) season eight at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Following their victory, Zalmi have qualified for the second Eliminator against Lahore Qalandars for a spot in the Final. The match will be played tomorrow at the same venue.
Earlier, United won the toss and put Zalmi to bat, who posted a target of 184 runs.
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 any significant contribution after 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 milestone which he did with ease courtesy of 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 if 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.
Peshawar Zalmi: Babar Azam (c), Saim Ayub, Mohammad Haris, Haseebullah Khan (wk), Tom Kohler-Cadmore, James Neesham, Aamer Jamal, Azmatullah Omarzai, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Wahab Riaz, Salman Irshad
Islamabad United: Alex Hales, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Sohaib Maqsood, Colin Munro, Shadab Khan (c), Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mubasir Khan, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Fazalhaq Farooqi
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