Samuels helps Zalmi reach PSL final
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, (CMC):
Darren Sammy's Peshawar Zalmi defied cameo knocks from the West Indies pair of Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard, to beat Karachi Kings by 24 runs here yesterday and storm into tomorrow's final of the Pakistan Super League.
Playing in the second playoff qualifier at the Dubai International Stadium, Zalmi were propelled to 181 for three off their 20 overs by opener Kamran Akmal, who blasted 104 from 65 deliveries.
West Indies right-hander Marlon Samuels chipped in with an unbeaten 37 while South African Dawid Malan got 36.
In reply, the left-handed Gayle smashed 40 off 31 balls at the top of the order before Pollard arrived to lash a 26-ball 47 down the order, but their efforts proved in vain as King could only muster 157 for seven.
Barbados-born England all-rounder Chris Jordan helped cripple the innings with an excellent spell of three for 26 from his four overs, while seamer Wahab Riaz (3-24) also claimed three wickets.
Kings lost the usually prolific Babar Azam cheaply for one in the second over, a dismissal which triggered a slide which saw them slump to 35 for four in the ninth over.
However, Gayle then took control of the innings, pummelling two fours and four sixes in an entertaining knock while adding 45 for the fifth wicket with Pollard.
When the Jamaican missed a yorker from Wahab and was bowled in the 12th over, Pollard stepped up to energise the run chase with an innings marked by four fours and three sixes.
He seemed to be taking Kings to a sensational victory before Wahab struck again, getting the Trinidadian to edge a full, wide delivery behind.
Earlier, Akmal struck six fours and seven sixes to lift Zalmi after they were sent in. He put on 97 with Malan for the first wicket and a further 77 for the second wicket with Samuels who counted three fours and a six in a breezy 22-ball innings.
Zalmi now take on Quetta Gladiators in the final in Lahore.