United eliminate Zalmi in last-over thriller


LAHORE: Islamabad United’s big- name players returned for the big game and delivered, giving them the cutting edge they demanded to exclude Peshawar Zalmi and keep their title hopes alive.

Returning to the team and back to the biosecure bubble, which he ’d left due to fatigue, explosive nature Alex Hales gave them the original motivation in their chase. How they ’d missed him.
Inspirational captain Shadab Khan returned from injury, giving them the leadership they demanded in the eliminator. That clearly made a difference.

Pacer Hasan Ali came back after sitting out their last many games and picked three lattices. That helped give their bowling some sword.

Alongside Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf and Liam Dawson — who hit the winning runs, they carried United to a five- gate, last-over palm against Zalmi, who had foamy performances from their top players but captain Wahab Riaz could n’t lead from the front.

Zalmi would also bemoan the fact that they gave Hales two reprieves beforehand in his innings as their HBL Pakistan Super League came to an end.

It’ll rather be United who’ll take on Lahore Qalandars on Friday night to decide which bone of them contests Sunday’s final against holders Multan Sultans.

Thursday’s tense palm, however, would surely give the two- time titleholders a spring in their step having only limped into the playoffs. They held their jitters in game which had so numerous plot- twists, so numerous implicit turning points, to eventually snare the palm at a packed Gaddafi Stadium.

The final twist of an immersing game came in the final over with United demanding 10 to win.

Zalmi sounded to have run out of bowling options, and ideas, and eventually decided to give debutant Benny Howell a crack at winning the game. The French-born T20 specialist nearly came an doubtful idol when he trapped Azam lbw but Dawson finished the game off on the coming two deliveries burying Howell for a six down deep midwicket and a nerveless four over the short fine leg fielder.

As the ball contended down to the hedge, Zalmi must ’ve been wondering how they lost a game that had sounded to be in the bag, especially when Salman Irshad had dismissed Hales and Asif Ali in quick race to leave United reeling, taking 51 to win off the last five overs.

That moment had arrived for Zalmi after Hales (62) had put United in the driving seat, completely capitalising on a missed stumping chance when he ’d not indeed got off the mark and a dropped catch when on 10.

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