The Lahore Qalandars have advanced to the final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season eight after beating Peshawar Zalmi by four wickets in the second eliminator at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on March 17, 2023.
The Qalandars were set a target of 172 runs to chase, and they managed to achieve it in 18.5 overs, thanks to a solid team effort. Although the match was not as nail-biting as some previous PSL games, it was still an exciting contest that kept fans on the edge of their seats.
The Qalandars lost opener Fakhar Zaman early, who was castled by Azmatullah Omarzai while trying to hit a big shot. Ahsan Bhatti, who was playing his first PSL match, also departed soon after, handing a simple catch to wicketkeeper Haseebullah off Wahab Riaz’s bowling. He scored 15 runs off 10 balls.
Abdullah Shafique also fell for 10 runs, thanks to a big mix-up between him and Mirza Tahir Baig. However, Tahir and Sam Billings got the Qalandars back on track with a crucial 50-run partnership in only 28 balls.
Tahir reached his maiden T20 fifty before being dismissed by Aamer Jamal, scoring 54 runs off 42 balls with the help of seven fours and two sixes. Billings was clean bowled by Salman Irshad for 28 runs in 21 balls, while Sikandar Raza scored 22 runs off 13 balls.
Shaheen Afridi hit a six and a four in the 19th over to secure the win for his team.
Earlier, Peshawar Zalmi scored 171-5 in their 20 overs, with opener Saim Ayub losing his wicket early to Zaman Khan. Babar Azam and Mohammad Haris then added 89 runs in 60 balls for the second wicket to put Zalmi in control of the match.
However, Rashid Khan claimed two wickets in the same over to send Babar (42 off 36) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (0) back to the pavilion. Despite the setback, Haris kept playing shots with ease and went on to score 85 runs in 54 balls, including 11 fours and two sixes.
Shaheen Afridi was expensive with the ball, conceding 41 runs in four overs, but he sent Haris back to the pavilion on the final delivery of his spell. Zaman Khan was the pick of the bowlers for the Qalandars with figures of 2-20 in three overs.