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| 21 March, 2018

Kamran powers Zalmi into Pakistan Super League final

Peshawar outplay Karachi Kings in the Eliminator match reduced to 16-overs-a-side due to rain

Image used for illustrative purposes. Pakistani cricket fans are silhouetted as they watch the hugely anticipated final of its domestic cricket league, the Pakistan Super League (PSL), on a large projector screen in Karachi, Pakistan March 5, 2017. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro - RTS11K48

Image used for illustrative purposes. Pakistani cricket fans are silhouetted as they watch the hugely anticipated final of its domestic cricket league, the Pakistan Super League (PSL), on a large projector screen in Karachi, Pakistan March 5, 2017. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro - RTS11K48

Akhtar Soomro - RTS11K48

Defending champions Peshawar Zalmi outplayed Karachi Kings in the second Eliminator to book their spot in the third edition of the HBL Pakistan Super League final to be played in Karachi against Islamabad United on Sunday.

The Darren Sammy-led side pipped Karachi by 13 runs at the Gaddafi Stadium on Wednesday night.

Earlier, put into bat, Peshawar Zalmi posted 170 for 7 in a match reduced to 16-overs-a-side due to rain. Facing a daunting total Karachi managed 157 for 2 in their allotted 16 overs.

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Zalmi were put into bat by stand-in Karachi Kings' captain Mohammad Amir. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Kamran Akmal went on the rampage.

The opening batsman, who became the first player to reach the century mark this season against Lahore Qalandars at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium last week, once again cut loose.

Kamran also added his name in the record books of the PSL by becoming the first batsman to reach 50 in only 17 balls.

He and Andre Fletcher laid the foundation for a big total for Peshawar after they raised 107 runs for the first wicket.

Part-time bowler Ravi Bopara ended Fletcher's brief innings after the West Indian batsman holed out to Joe Denly in the deep.

Although he played second fiddle to Kamran he still managed a decent 34 from 30 balls (3 fours and two sixes).

His wicket and that of Liam Dawson (13) and Mohammad Hafeez (13) saw Karachi claw their way back into the match.

Kamran continued to throw his arms around and got to his 77 from 27 balls. His innings was peppered with eight sixes and five fours. But Bopara struck again to remove the dangerman and from the other end Amir kept it tight until captain Darren Sammy got some quick runs, striking two sixes and a four for his 23 from 12 balls which ensured Zalmi reached 170.

Karachi lost Mukhtar Ahmed early but Joe Denly and Babar Azam stitched a 117-run partnership to keep Karachi in the chase.

However, once Babar was out for a well-made 63 from 45 balls with two sixes and six fours, Denly tried to keep them in the hunt but the run rate kept mounting leaving him unbeaten on 79 from 46 balls. He had clobbered four sixes and nine fours.

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