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Dawson’s resistance lifts Zalmi after early blows |

KARACHI: Spinner Samit Patel gave an early breakthrough to the Islamabad United by striking down in-form batsman Kamran Akmal on his very first over of the game. 

Later in his second over, Muhammad Hafeez fell prey to his flight and gave an easy catch to the bowler on eight runs. 

Samit Patel dismisses Kamran Akmal on his first over

The next to be returning back to the pavilion was opener Andre Fletcher as the Windies batsman wasn’t able to time a flipper from Shadab Khan, leading the ball to hit pads in the line of wickets.  

Peshawar Zalmi won the toss and elected to bat first against Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2018 final.

United have made one change for the match as Chadwick Walton replaced opener Alex Hales.

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

The National Stadium is lit up today to welcome cricket’s homecoming to Pakistan’s biggest city, as thousands of fans flock to the sold-out National Stadium to witness two great teams face off.

Today’s contest is truly between the two best teams of PSL. 

Neither of the teams is any stranger to the gold: Islamabad United, under the sure-footed leadership of Misbah, lifted the inaugural PSL trophy in 2016. Peshawar Zalmi, led by the charismatic Darren Sammy, were crowned the champions in 2017. 

After beating Karachi Kings in the second eliminator on Wednesday, Peshawar Zalmi took their tally of overall wins to 19 — the most by any team in the PSL. But guess who’s right behind? Islamabad United, with 18 wins.

Earlier, Pop star Ali Zafar while exclusive speaking to Geo News requested fans to show their ‘Karachi spirit’, as cricket is returning to the city after nine years.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair Umar and Director General ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor have reached the stadium. 

Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Najam Sethi welcomed the spectators at the closing ceremony of the event and expressed his gratitude to the security forces for giving top-notch security for the event.

The PCB chairman requested fans to show the same passion in the series against West Indies to be played a week later at the same ground. 

He said that the board plans to hold most of the next PSL matches in different cities of Pakistan.

The tournament wouldn’t have been possible without government’s support. I thank all of you for supporting Pakistan cricket,” he said. 

Peshawar Zalmi

Head coach: Mohammad Akram

Captain: Darren Sammy

Squad: Darren Sammy (c), Tamim Iqbal, Kamran Akmal, Andre Fletcher, Riki Wessels, Hammad Azam, Haris Sohail, Khushdil Shah, Umaid Asif, Saad Nasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Liam Dawson, Sameen Gul, Hasan Ali, Chris Jordan, Mohammad Asghar, Wahab Riaz

Islamabad United

Head coach: Dean Jones

Captain: JP Duminy (in absence of injured Misbah-ul-Haq)

Squad: JP Duminy (c), Alex Hales, Sam Billings, Mohammad Hasan, Chadwick Walton, Rohail Nazir, Luke Ronchi, Amad Butt, Hussain Talat, Samit Patel, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Samuel Badree, Steven Finn, Mohammad Sami, Zafar Gohar, Waqas Maqsood

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