United topple Zalmi, reclaim PSL trophy


Ronchi powers Islamabad to win final; Prime Minister, Bilawal witness final match

Sports Reporter


Despite a strong public support, defending champions Peshawar Zalmi failed to retain the title as Islamabad United defeated them by three wickets with 19 balls remaining to lift the glittering trophy for the second time in the Pakistan Super League here at the jam-packed National Stadium on Sunday night.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan abbasi and PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and many other high dignatories witnessed the PSL final.
Chasing 149, Luke Ronchi and Sahibzada Farhan provided a sound start of 96 to pave the way for an easy win for the United but then Umaid Asif and Chris Jordan were brought in to attack and they grabbed three quick wickets for only six runs to change the momentum of the game.
First, Jordan dismissed Ronchi, who blasted 52 from 25 balls, smashing five huge sixes and four boundaries. It was his fifth half-century in seven matches in the third edition of the PSL. He also became the highest run-getter in the event.
Just after Ronchi’s dismissal, Chadwick Walton was bowled by Umaid Asif for a duck and then Jordan struck again to get out captain Jean-Paul Duminy, caught and bowled, for two.
Later, Farhan also went out, after making 44 off 33 balls with five fours and a six, and Islamabad United were 112 for four.
Soon they lost two more quick wickets as Samit Patel (10) and Shadab Khan (1) fell and the United were 116 for six, needing further 33 runs from 36 balls.
Then came Hussain Talat and Asif Ali to add 32 valuable runs when Talat was bowled by Wahab Riaz as they needed just one run.
However, new comer Faheem Ashraf lofted a six off Wahab and Islamabad United emerged victorious in the end.
Asif Ali remained not out on 26, made off only six balls as he smashed three consecutive sixes to leave the Zalmi empty handed after a great fight back.
Jordan, Wahab and Hasan Ali claimed two wickets each for Peshawar Zalmi.
Earlier, after winning the toss and opting to bat first, Peshawar Zalmi sent out Kamran Akmal and Andre Fletcher to open their innings, whereas Samit Patel and Mohammad Sami shared the new ball for Islamabad United.
After two quiet overs, things livened up in the third as Fletcher hit back-to-back fours off the bowling of Patel. Zalmi were dealt a huge blow in the third over when the in-form Akmal departed. Patel had him trapped in front of the wickets and even though he took a review; he failed.
Mohammad Hafeez walked in to join Fletcher in the middle. The Professor hit the most effortless of 6s in the 4th over bowled by Sami before sent packing by Patel on the first ball of the 5th.
Here’s that sequence:
Five overs into the final, Zalmi were 36-2 — not the kind of start they would have wanted in the most important match of their PSL 2018 campaign.
And they were soon given another jolt. Shadab Khan was introduced into the attack in the 6th over and he struck almost instantly, sending Fletcher back into the dugout. But Chris Jordan looked in good touch. He hit a six each in the 8th, 9th and 10 overs.
Halfway through their innings, Zalmi were 73-3, with Jordan and Liam Dawson at the crease.
Jordan hit another maximum before his 36-run innings came to an end in the 13th over. Zalmi brought up their century in the 14th over but were dealt another setback in the follow-up over when Hussain Talat removed Saad Nasim.
With just 5 overs left in their innings, Zalmi were 110-5 and in desperate need for some late fireworks from their captain Darren Sammy and Liam Dawson. Zalmi lost two batsmen at the score of 111. First Sammy (6) fell prey to Shadab before Umaid Asif met the same fate.
The wickets kept on tumbling but Zalmi did just enough to put 148 runs on the board for the loss of 9 wickets in their allotted 20 overs. They owed a great deal to Wahab Riaz’s late cameo (28 runs off 14 balls).
They had successfully defended the same total in last year’s final and considering the bowling options at Sammy’s disposal, there was no doubting that they could do it again.
Peshawar Zalmi: Kamran, Fletcher, Hafeez, Nasim, Dawson, Sammy, Jordan, Hasan Ali, Wahab, Umaid, Sameen Gul
Islamabad United: Ronchi, Walton, Duminy, Farhan, Hussain, Asif, Khan, Faheem, Ammad Butt, Sami, Patel.
Meanwhile, President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Sunday congratulated the Islamabad United team for winning the final match of the Pakistan Super League 2018.
The president said both the teams played a great game in the tournament. Extending his felicitations to the nation, the president said the PSL’s success was the success of the whole nation. The prime minister in his congratulation message also appreciated the runner-up Peshawar Zalmi for showing a great game in the tournament.
He said the successful holding of Pakistan Super League’s final match in Karachi was a victory of the entire nation.
The prime minister felicitated the Pakistan Cricket Board on successful arrangements and execution of PSL 2018. He also extended his heartfelt congratulations to all participating players and teams for enthusiastically playing throughout the tournament. He said the event offered an excellent opportunity to the cricket fans to witness the ultimate cricket experience across Pakistan; the enthusiasm and excitement of cricket fans at National Stadium Karachi was indeed commendable.
He expressed his gratitude to the international players who led the PSL to the magnificent outcome through their participation and extraordinary performance.
Prime Minister Abbasi lauded the role of Pakistan Army, police and law enforcement agencies, and Sindh government in the smooth holding of the PSL final in Kara-chi. He appreciated the efforts of PCB team, particularly Chairman PCB Najam Sethi and all those associated in successfully arranging the event.

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