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Wasim and Ali send Islamabad to Pakistan Super League final with 5-wicket win over Peshawar

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Imad Wasim and Haider Ali sent batting powerhouse Islamabad United to its first Pakistan Super League final since 2018 with a five-wicket win over Peshawar Zalmi in the second eliminator on Saturday.

Wasim smashed an unbeaten 59 and Ali bludgeoned five sixes in his 29-ball 52 not out as Islamabad reached 189-5 with an over to spare after choosing to chase.

Pakistan star Saim Ayub earlier made a robust 73 off 44 before Islamabad restricted Peshawar to 185-5. Captain Shadab Khan figured in all five dismissals, picking up four smart catches in the outfield and also getting the key wicket of Ayub in the 15th over.

Islamabad, which won two titles in the first three PSL seasons, including in 2018, will play Multan Sultans in the final on Monday.

Peshawar’s three-spinner plan for the first time this season was working well when Ayub (2-34) claimed the key wickets of Alex Hales (1) and Salman Ali Agha (5). Left-arm spinner Mehran Mumtaz bowled Shadab for a duck and Martin Guptill (34) offered a tame catch at mid-on as Islamabad slumped to 50-4 in the batting power play.

Azam Khan (22) was bowled by Luke Wood’s slower delivery but Wasim and Ali then had their match-winning 98-run stand in eight overs.

Needing 35 off the last three overs, Ali smashed Aamer Jamal for two sixes and Wasim hit two boundaries to seal the game as the fast bowler conceded 23 runs off six balls.

Earlier, Babar Azam scored 25 to end a memorable season with a total of 569 runs – the most any batter has scored in PSL history – before Shadab plucked a superb catch at mid-off. Ayub and Mohammad Haris (40) fell in successive overs.

Fast bowler Naseem Shah (3-30) picked up Babar’s wicket in his first spell and dismissed Haris and Tom Kohler-Cadmore in the death overs.

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AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket