United edge out Zalmi in last ball Sharjah thriller


SHARJAH/KARACHI Feb 19 (APP): Islamabad United recorded a nail-biting last ball win against Peshawar Zalmi in another action packed HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) encounter played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, on Saturday.
Set a relatively simple 137 run chase, the United batsmen found the
going tough as Zalmi bowlers bowled with great penetration in the opening overs to peg them back.
Dwayne Smith held one end together, the right-handed opener survived a dropped chance and a strong caught behind appeal on successive balls from Shahid Afridi to keep his team in the contest as the asking rate mounted.
Smith found able support in Shane Watson (30) who was run out on
the penultimate ball of the innings leaving Amad Butt to face the last
ball with one required, the all-rounder kept his composure and hit the winning runs to the relief of the United camp.
Junaid Khan, who conceded only five runs off the first five balls of the last over, had a forgettable spell otherwise leaking 49 runs in his quota of four overs.
Earlier Zalmi stuttered to a first innings total of 136 for nine as a disciplined bowling performance by the United bowlers kept the batsmen in a leash.
Zalmi lost openers Tamim Iqbal (4) and Kamran Akmal (19) cheaply, Mohammad Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood and Shakibal Hasan all failed to get going too.
Captain Daren Sammy gave his team a ray of hope with a 20 run contribution which was followed by cameos from crowd favourite Shahid Afridi (17) and Wahab Riaz (23).
From a score of 88 for five after 15 overs, the Zalmis added 44 runs in the next three overs with Wahab taking 21 runs off one Shane Watson over.
The next two overs though belonged to United as Rumman Raees and Sami gave a total of four runs only to restrict the Zalmi eleven to 136 runs in the allotted 20 overs. Sami who took three wickets was named man-of-the-match.