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PSL 9: Peshawar Zalmi inflict 8-run defeat on Islamabad United

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Peshawar Zalmi beat Islamabad United at Gaddafi Stadium on February 26, 2024. — PSL
Peshawar Zalmi beat Islamabad United at Gaddafi Stadium on February 26, 2024. — PSL  

Babar Azam’s 11th T20 century and Arif Yaqoob’s fifer helped Peshawar Zalmi beat Islamabad United by eight runs in the 13th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season nine.

After posting a 202-run target, Peshawar restricted Islamabad to 193/9. This is Peshawar’s third straight win in the competition.

After posting a 202-run target, Peshawar restricted Islamabad to 193/9. This is Peshawar’s third straight win in the competition.

Islamabad appeared poised for victory following a remarkable fourth-wicket partnership between Colin Munro and Azam Khan, but Yaqoob’s four-wicket haul in the 19th over swung the momentum back in Peshawar’s favour.

PSL 9: Peshawar Zalmi inflict 8-run defeat on Islamabad United

This marks the first instance in PSL history where a bowler has claimed four wickets in a single over, with Yaqoob concluding with figures of 5/27.

Islamabad experienced a shaky start to the run chase, losing Jordan Cox (13) in the fifth over with just 32 runs on the board.

Subsequently, the v lost two more wickets in quick succession as Shadab Khan (6) and Salman Ali Agha (14) departed after making modest contributions.

Azam Khan joined Munro in the middle with the Islamabad struggling at 73/3 in 9.3 overs and completely changed the game with an outstanding performance.

The right-handed batter dominated the 108-run partnership with Munro, scoring 75 off just 30 deliveries, including six boundaries and as many sixes.

His brilliant innings concluded on the final delivery of the 18th over when he mistimed a shot off Naveen-ul-Haq.

Following his partner’s departure, Munro also fell on the next delivery, leading to a collapse in the lower order. The left-handed batsman scored 71 runs in 53 balls, hitting seven boundaries and a six.

Spinner Arif Yaqoob regained control for Islamabad by taking three more wickets in the penultimate over, finishing with remarkable figures of 5/27 – marking the first five-wicket haul of PSL 9.

In the end, the Islamabad required 19 runs off the final over but fell short despite Naseem Shah hitting a six on the second delivery.

Apart from Yaqoob, Salman Irshad, Naveen, Luke Wood, and Saim Ayub each claimed one wicket.

Opting to bat first, Peshawar’s openers Saim Ayub and Babar once again laid the foundation with a flourishing 73-run partnership. The formidable duo dominated the Islamabad bowlers at a brisk pace until Ayub fell to Salman Ali Agha in the eighth over.

Ayub contributed significantly with a noteworthy 21-ball 38, featuring three boundaries and two sixes. His dismissal injected momentum for Islamabad, and their captain further solidified their position by dismissing Mohammad Haris and Haseebullah Khan in the following over.

These quick blows reduced Peshawar to 80/3 in 8.4 overs, prompting the former champions to adopt a defensive stance. Peshawar then lost two more wickets, with Paul Walter (19) and Rovman Powell (eight) departing rapidly, slipping to 124/5 in 14.5 overs.

However, Babar Azam launched a ruthless counterattack on Islamabad with aggressive hitting, turning the game around. The highlight was an explosive 18th over, where he hammered four boundaries and a six off young Hunain Shah.

In the final over by Tymall Mills, Babar hit a boundary on the first delivery and followed it up with a single to secure his second PSL century. Azam finished as the top-scorer for Zalmi with an unbeaten 111 off just 63 deliveries, including 14 boundaries and two sixes.

He received support from hard-hitting batter Asif Ali, who contributed a quick 17 off nine balls with two boundaries. United captain Shadab led the bowling attack with figures of 2/28 in his four overs, followed by Naseem Shah and Salman Ali Agha, who claimed one scalp each.

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