Abu Dhabi [UAE], June 22 (ANI): Peshawar Zalmi defeated defending champions Karachi Kings by five wickets with one ball to spare in Eliminator 1 of the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) on Tuesday here at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Two dropped catches of Sherfane Rutherford on the first ball as well as the penultimate one in Mohammad Ilyas' last over saw Peshawar Zalmi get seven runs and cross the line.
Zalmi, the champions of the 2017 edition, will now play Islamabad United in Eliminator 2 on Tuesday and the winner will take on Multan Sultans in the final on Thursday.
Player of the match Hazratullah Zazai's whirlwind 77 set the tone for Zalmi's successful chase of 176. The Afghanistan opener smashed 10 fours and five sixes in 38 balls and stitched an opening partnership of 49 with Kamran Akmal (13 off 12) and then added 43 more runs with Imam-ul-Haq (11 off 17).
In both alliances, he took the lead role and made sure that Kings' bowlers remained on the defensive. When he became Perera's second wicket, Zalmi had, by then, accumulated 103 runs in 11.3 overs.
Shoaib Malik provided support in the middle-order with his 30 off 25, before Sherfane Rutherford (17 not out off 10) sealed the win. Earlier, Zalmi pacers Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan and Umaid Asif shared six wickets and the seventh wicket was taken by Mohammad Imran as Kings were restricted to 175 for seven.
Babar Azam scored his seventh half-century of the edition after Wahab decided to bowl after winning the toss. Kings' wickets fell on regular intervals after Sharjeel Khan (26 off 20) was dismissed in the sixth over and Babar struggled to find the desired support from the other end.
Perera played a handy knock in the middle-order scoring 37 runs at more than two runs-a-ball as his 18-ball stay at the wicket was studded with four fours and three sixes.
Brief Scores: Karachi Kings 175/7 (Babar Azam 53, Thisara Perera 37, Mohammad Irfan 2-21); Peshawar Zalmi 176/5 (Hazratullah Zazai 77, Shoaib Malik 30, Thisara Perera 2-10). (ANI)