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Defending champions Qalandars knocked out Zalmi by 4 wickets to reach PSL8 final

Lahore Qalandars were given a target of 172 to win.

The defending champions Lahore Qalandars knocked out Peshawar Zalmi by 4 wickets on Friday and qualified for the final of the eighth season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Qalandars will be facing Multan Sultans in the final on Saturday (18 March).

In the second eliminator of PSL played at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore, Peshawar Zalmi captain Babar Azam won the toss and decided to bat first against Lahore Qalandars and scored 171/5 in 20 overs.

Lahore Qalandars were given a target of 172 to win.

Chasing a target of 172, the Qalandars had to face an early loss, when Fakhar Zaman pulled down to the wicket in a bid to clear midwicket, but Azmatullah Omarzai was clever with the ball and knocked out Zaman for just 5-ball 6.

Mirza Baig displayed a brilliant game in the first over.

The debutant Ahsan Hafeez scored 15 runs with the help of two fours and a six and took the score to 38.

Wahab Riaz befuddled the debutant Ahsan and gave Qalandars the second blow of the innings.

Abdullah Shafiq could not play a big inning, but along with Mirza Baig, the score reached 68 runs.

Qalandars suffered their third loss in the form of Abdullah Shafiq who scored 10 runs off 10 balls.

Mirza Baig batted responsibly and when LQ’s score reached 119 runs in 13 overs, he was dismissed by Aamir Jamal.

Baig scored 54 runs off 42 balls with the help of 7 fours and 2 sixes.

Sam Billings and Sikandar Raza had a good partnership and led the team to almost victory.

Billings’ innings of 28 runs, was ended by Salman Irshad at a score of 161 on the first ball of the 17th over of the innings.

Sikandar Raza once again played a good inning of 23 runs off 14 balls with 3 fours for Qalandars but, unfortunately, he could not finish the match.

Azmatullah Umarzai took the wicket of Sikandar Raza on the fourth ball of the 18th over, but the Qalandars’ score had reached 161 runs.

David Wiese and captain Shaheen Shah Afridi on the pitch led the team to the final after one over.

Afridi scored 11 runs and David Wiese remained unbeaten with 9 runs.

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While batting first for Peshawar Zalmi, Saim Ayub had started aggressively, but in the second over, he was dismissed for 9 runs with the help of 2 fours.

Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Haris shared a big partnership for the second wicket and put 100 runs on the scoreboard for their team.

Both the batsmen kept Qalandar’s bowlers under pressure.

Zalmi’s skipper Babar Azam took the honor of Hanif Muhammad’s cap from Mohammad Rizwan with a four in the 10th over of the innings.

Babar Azam scored a total of 519 runs this season and came first in the list, while earlier Mohammad Rizwan was in the first position by scoring 516 runs.

Babar Azam scored 42 runs off 36 balls with the help of 7 fours and returned to the pavilion on a score of 104 in the 12th over.

Rashid Khan bounced back and struck twice in the 12th over, sending back Babar and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (0 off 2) to the pavilion.

Mohammad Haris batted brilliantly from the other end and led the team to a big score and also completed his half-century.

Haris and Bhanuka Rajapaksa added 49 runs in the fourth wicket partnership and took the team’s score to 153 runs.

Mohammad Haris was caught out trying to play a high shot on the last ball of the 18th over, but he faced 54 balls and played an inning of 85 runs with the help of 11 fours and 2 sixes.

Peshawar Zalmi’s last out was Aamir Jamal, who was bowled by Zaman Khan in the last over.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Haseebullah Khan did not let Zalmi’s wicket fall further and completed the allotted 20 overs, the two batsmen scoring 25 and 5 respectively.

In the death overs, Sri Lanka’s Bhanuka Rajapaksa, played an unconquered cameo, plundering 18-ball 25, including four boundaries.

Peshawar Zalmi scored 171 runs for 5 wickets in the allotted overs.

Zaman Khan and Rashid Khan took 2 and 2 wickets for Qalandars.

David Wiese (0-22), Haris Rauf (0-31), and Ahsan Hafeez (0-13) remained wicketless.

Shaheen Afridi was expensive, conceding 41 runs, and picked up just one wicket.

Saman Siddiqui

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