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Ronchi departs after quickfire 52 as Islamabad chase 149 to win |

KARACHI: Sahibzada Farhan and Samit Patel are leading the United’s chase of 149 runs against Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League final being held at the National Stadium. 

The match odds are currently in favour of United as opener Luke Ronchi curtailed the chase with his blistering 52-run knock.  

Late blitz by fast bowler Wahab Riaz lifted Peshawar Zalmi to a fighting total of 148 runs against Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League final being held at the National Stadium on Sunday.

The tailender offered resistance to the JP Duminy-led team with his 28-runs off 14 balls innings, in which he scored four boundaries and one six, and gave a margin to the ‘Men in Yellow’ bowlers.   

Second Innings

United’s opener Luke Ronchi made the 149-run target an easy chase for the team with his fiery 52 off 26 balls innings, which included four boundaries and five sixes.

The Kiwi batsman was dismissed on the team score of 96 runs, when Andre Fletcher took his catch on the ball of fast bowler Chris Jordan. 

United wasn’t able to continue with the momentum staged by Ronchi due to back-to-back dismissals as where Chadwick Walton was dismissed by Umaid Asif on duck, skipper JP Duminy got out after scoring just two runs.

First Innings – United’s bowlers neutralised Zalmi batting firepower

Zalmi had troubled start as their key batsmen failed to deliver as per expectations.  

Spinner Samit Patel gave an early breakthrough to the 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.  

Hussain Talat ended innings of Chris Jordan and Saad Nasim on the respective scores of 36 and two runs.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Governor Sindh and other dignitaries watching the match from the VIP box of National Stadium. Photo: Geo News

Shadab Khan picked the prize wicket of Zalmi skipper Darren Sammy on the 15.4 overs of the game with his googly delivery, and on the very next delivery dismissed Umaid Asif after taking a review. Though the next batsman in, Hasan Ali, denied him from Hattrick.  

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

Final – 11

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

PPP leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah visited the stadium during the match. Photo: Geo News

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. 

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