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Islamabad United 247/2 (20 ov)
Peshawar Zalmi 232/6 (20 ov)
Islamabad United won by 15 runs.
Player of the match: Usman Khawaja
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That is all she had written for this encounter but boy, was that some contest or what! An absolute run-fest at the Zayed Stadium and with another game coming up shortly between Lahore Qalandars and Karachi Kings, the stage is set for another cracker. Do switch tabs and follow all the action from that game which is set to begin in a little over half an hour's time. It was an absolute pleasure bringing this game to you - thank you so much for tuning into our coverage which we hope you enjoyed to the hilt. For now though, on behalf of my colleague Dwijesh Reddy, this is Sooryanarayanan Sesha humbly urging you to mask up, sanitize those hands, maintain social distancing and stay indoors. Good night and stay safe!
They might have been short on resources but Islamabad United surely made the most out of whatever they had. And the intent was there right from the moment they took to the park with an inspired Usman Khawaja, standing in for Shadab Khan, led the way with a breathtaking hundred. His beaming smile during the presentation was all that was needed to tell you what an outing he enjoyed. This win ensures that they remain atop the points table at least for now but with that superior net run-rate of theirs, it is hard to see them not end the League in pole position irrespective of how their final game transpires. Zalmi on the other hand, are done with their share of outings and one thing they did ensure tonight was that their net run-rate did not plummet real bad. They will now wait and watch the remaining encounters before their fate is known.
Usman Khawaja (Islamabad United Captain and Player of the Match): It was a beautiful day and an enjoyable day for batting out the entire 20 overs. We had quite a few players out today, Colin was out of the field and some players were resting - Wasim wasn't playing and neither was Ali Khan. So it was a great outing. I'm not going to take anything away from our bowlers who bowled really well on that wicket but Shadab is a big player for us. We know how good Wasim has been as well for us and we were a seamer short. It was a good wicket so I thought our bowlers did really well.
Wahab Riaz (Peshawar Zalmi Captain): Just speechless. I think we were very disappointing on the field. Especially after winning the toss and opting to field and knowing that they were one bowler short, we should have restricted them to 160-170. But I think the attitude was missing on the field. We rested Irfan knowing that we are playing our first day game and so we brought in another spinner to get some help from the surface but it was the responsibility of the fast-bowlers, especially those who have been there and played for a long time to gauge the right lengths to bowl. The ball was coming on nicely to the bat and we bowled too many in the slot.
479 runs across 40 overs! And just 8 wickets falling! Tells a story doesn't it? Chasing a world record score of 248 in their final league outing, Zalmi got off to the worst possible start with Hazratullah Zazai, fresh off a 17-ball half-century, spooning a real skier that was held tremendously well by Hasan Ali. Kamran Akmal didn't take the foot off the gas - not that he had a choice of course - as he brought out some delightful boundaries all over the park.

Even as Imam-ul-Haq failed to make an impression, Kamran chugged along and brought up his first half-century of the Abu Dhabi leg. Shoaib Malik continued his fine run of form as well and ensured that the runs kept coming their way. Yet, such was the Everest in front of them that the asking rate remained on the ascendancy and the dismissal of Kamran didn't help their cause either.

Shoaib Malik meant business though, and he lined up Fawad Ahmed in particular and put him to the sword, showing just why he is one of the most under-rated T20 players on the planet. While he kept going strong, Rovman Powell failed to do so and the only way he was headed eventually was the dugout.

That brought Sherfane Rutherford to the crease and gosh, if you didn't witness that blitz then you surely missed out on a treat! Four consecutive biggies off Zafar Gohar amidst a 30-run over certainly put the Zalmi back in the hunt if anything else hadn't. This, after Malik notched up a half-century and suddenly, it was United who were feeling the heat.

But when the heat is on, expect the tough to get going. And that's what Hasan Ali did as he used his change ups to great effect to see the back of Rutherford. And even as Shoaib continued to plunder Fawad for boundaries, he too fell hoicking against the line off Hussain Talat.

But Zalmi were not going to throw the towel in by any means as skipper Wahab Riaz and Umaid Asif wielded their willow wild and took the game really close. To top it all, there was some drama over a possible short-run which was given only to be overturned. But at the end of it all, 24 off the final over was too steep a task with Akif Javed nailing his yorkers at will to see United home and consolidate their position atop the points table.

While it wasn't an outing for the bowlers, it was certainly not a game to remember if you were a spin bowler. Both Zafar Gohar and Fawad Ahmed were carted about to the cleaners, but the seamers were mighty impressive, with Akif Javed and Hasan Ali mixing their lengths as well as their pace to perfection. And Hussain Talat sent down a valuable four-over spell and stepped up with the wicket of Shoaib Malik, which would eventually prove to be the game-clincher for United.
And that is that - on a track where the bowlers endured a nightmare, Akif Javed has sent down one of the most immaculate final overs you will see. What a contest we've had though and despite the margin, it was nerve-wracking alright! At the end of it all, Islamabad United prevail by 15 runs!
20
overs
232 /6 score
2
1
1
1
1
1
runs
cricket bat icon Wahab Riaz *
28 (15)
cricket bat icon Umaid Asif
20 (9)
cricket ball icon Akif Javed
3 /43
19.6 Akif Javed to Wahab Riaz, a full ball angled into the stumps, Riaz makes room and drives it along the carpet to long-off as Islamabad United clinch a thriller at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium!
19.5 Akif Javed to Umaid Asif, a wide yorker outside off, Asif clears his front foot and drags it to wide long-on for a single
They will heave a sigh of relief now will the Men in Red! All Akif needs to do now is to send down two legal deliveries!
19.4 Akif Javed to Wahab Riaz, a full ball on the middle stump, Riaz can only get it down to long-on for a single
This is outstanding execution under pressure from the young man. Zalmi now need three sixes to tie the game!
19.3 Akif Javed to Umaid Asif, a full ball on middle and leg, Asif can do nothing but just drag it to the cow-corner fielder for a single! That should be the game for Islamabad!
19.2 Akif Javed to Wahab Riaz, a very full ball on off-stump, Riaz can only swat it to the long-off fielder for a single. 20 to win off 4 now!
19.1 Akif Javed to Wahab Riaz, a full ball bowled on the stumps, Riaz has a swing at it and ends up getting it to the fine-leg fielder, who does well to get a hand on it, saving a couple in the process. 21 to win from 5 now!
Akif Javed is back into the attack. He will bowl round the wicket with Wahab Riaz on strike.
There was an appeal for a short run off that last delivery and it seems as though the bat was justttt on the line. Short run signaled and it's nice to see Umaid Asif seeing the funny side of it as he shares a light moment with the umpire. But hang on - the third umpire has overturned the short run, given that there was a smidge of the blade over the line as per another angle. Jeez, it's all happening out there but it's clear now - Zalmi need 23 off the final over!

They might not have hampered their net run-rate too much, but Zalmi will be looking to find away to knock off 24 runs here! Meanwhile, Hasan Ali has just finished an outstanding spell of bowling for the night.
19
overs
225 /6 score
1
1lb
6
1
4
2
runs
cricket bat icon Wahab Riaz
23 (11)
cricket bat icon Umaid Asif *
18 (7)
cricket ball icon Hasan Ali
1 /30
18.6 Hasan Ali to Umaid Asif, a low full-toss on off-stump, Asif heaves it to the midwicket region for a brace as Hasan Ali ends a brilliant spell of bowling! In fact, the batsmen have run one run short, which has dented Peshawar's hopes even more! Drama here as the short-run ruling has been overturned! It stays a double!
Keep that third man back Usman Khawaja! That might not have been stopped either ways but surely you've got to be looking to save runs at this stage!
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