(Gladiators 128 all out in 20 overs)
(Zalmi 130 for 8 in 19.2 overs)
DUBAI February 25: Peshawar Zalmi won another HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) cliffhanger as Shahid Afridi rolled back the years to guide his team to a three-wicket win with a brilliant unbeaten innings of 45 off 23 balls against the Quetta Gladiators in the last league match for the two teams played at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
The win has taken Zalmi to the top of the table with nine points and a better net run rate than Quetta Gladiators even if Islamabad United win their last game and top the rankings, Zalmi will finish in the top two and get two chances of qualifying for tournament’s final.
Afridi arrived at the crease after a stunning collapse had reduced Zalmi from 38 for no loss to 52 for six; he added 37 with Mohammad Hafeez (22) before Hassan Ali gave due support to Afridi with two timely boundaries in the penultimate over.
Zalmi needed seven off the last six balls; Afridi hit the first two for fours through the covers to seal a narrow win for his side.
Gladiators who were put into bat by Daren Sammy got off to a tumultuous start as Man-of-the-match Mohammad Asghar snared openers Asad Shafiq (3) and Ahmed Shehzad (0) with only four runs on the board.
The innings was brought back on track by an 86 run partnership between Kevin Pietersen (41) and Rilee Rossouw (38), the pair consumed 71 balls in their alliance. Pietersen was smartly taken by Hassan Ali while Rossouw was caught by Asghar off Shakibal Hasan.
After the departure of Pietersen and Rossouw the Gladiators innings quickly subsided as the Zalmi attack found their groove. Gladiators lost their last seven wickets for the addition of 38 runs only, Asghar took three wickets in his four overs while Hassan and Wahab Riaz claimed two wickets each.