KARACHI  - Thanks to sensational batting by man-in-form Kamran Akmal and highly clever bowling by Chris Jordan, Peshawar Zalmi taught a cricketing lesson to defending champions Islamabad United who were thrashed by 48 runs in the second eliminator here at jam-packed National Stadium on late Friday night.

It was massive crowd and it was no surprise that Zalmi were enjoying overwhelming crowd support as home-favourites Karachi Kings had been eliminated the other day. It seems like entire Karachi was in the stadium and all the roads leading towards stadium were packed with long queues of spectators. The security staff deputed at different roads and especially at the stadium was highly humble and ensured that massive crowd was handled properly. It was wonderful to witness Rangers and other security agencies deployed at the stadium were trying their level best to ensure smooth passage to the ticket holders. The stadium was presenting a sensational look as masses had switched on their mobile phone lights, which were presenting highly attractive look and entire stadium was presenting highly attractive and carnival like look.

M Sami won the toss and without delay invited Zalmi to bat first as United had remained highly successful when it comes to chasing down even huge targets. But all his plans and thoughts ended in smoke by highly world class batting from both Zalmi openers Kamran and Imam-ul-Haq. Kamran is particularly enjoying rich form and reminding selectors that he has lot to offer yet despite being long ignored and deprived from his due right of playing for national team. Kamran has won many hearts with his ever positive and down to earth frame of mind. Kamran simply hammered all the United bowlers and showed them he is a class apart and still he is the best to open the innings for Pakistan team. But the selector always have other ideas in store, reasons best known to them as they kept faith in M Rizwan, who had a nightmarish PSL and never known for any modest performance for the national team.

Karman and Imam mad e 135 runs for first wicket in just 12.2 overs making life miserable for the defending champions. It was highly unlikely source Cameron Delport, who finally broke the Zalmi opening stand. Imam made 58 in 33 balls. He hit 7 boundaries and two sixes. Kamran kept one end intact and was looking all set to score a century, but he too lost his wicket at the boundary edge, when he tried to hit Delport out of the park. Kamran made 74 consuming 43 deliveries. He hammered 10 fours and three sixes. Soon after Zalmi innings looked to struggle as out of form Sohaib Maqsood after consuming few deliveries was finally out. But that brought big guns in the game. Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy were once again together at the crease. Like witnessed in the past, Pollard started to use long handle to the best of his abilities and smashed one four and four sixes before he was run out in a mix up with the captain. He made 37 off 21 balls.

Skipper Sammy stood like solid rock and made unbeaten 30 in just 15 balls hitting two fours and two sixes as Zalmi’s post a massive 214-5 wickets. One of tournament’s most impressive bowler, Faheem Ashraf could not get a single wicket, while it was Delport, who was the most successful United bowler with figures of 2 for 24, while Rumman Raees, Shahdab, Faheem and Sami were all very expensive.

United got off to a decent start but like witnessed against KK, Luke Ronchi once again failed to lit up the occasion when it matters most and was out after scoring 17 runs. Last match hero Alex Hales followed him quickly after scoring just one run. Delport and Chadwick Walton were involved in 63 runs partnership to give United some hope but they never looked like even close to chasing down the huge target. Delport departed after scoring 28 and United suffered massive blow when Asif Ali was removed by Pollard without disturbing the scorers. It proved to be body-blow, as United’s last hopes of surviving were all blown up. Walton batted superbly but he was out after scoring 48 off 29 balls. Faheem hit few lusty blows but it was too little too late as he also perished after contributing 31. Rest was history, as United could score 166 for the loss of 9 wickets and Zalmi won by 48 runs. It was magnificent bowling performances by Chris Jordan and Hassan Ali, as both picked 3 wickets each conceding 26 and 29 runs respectively.

Scorecard

PESHAWAR ZALMI:

Kamran Akmal c Shadab b Delport 74

Imam-ul-Haq c Ronchi b Delport 58

K Pollard obstructing the field 37

Sohaib Maqsood c Ronchi b Shadab 4

D Sammy not out 30

Wahab Riaz run out 1

C Jordan not out 0

EXTRAS: (lb5, w5) 10

TOTAL: (5 wkts; 20 overs) 214

FOW: 1-135, 2-138, 3-158, 4-190, 5-198

BOWLING: M Sami 3-0-25-0, Rumman Raees 4-0-48-0, Faheem Ashraf 4-0-38-0, Shadab Khan 4-0-46-1, M Musa 2-0-28-0, C Delport 3-0-24-2

ISLAMABAD UNITED:

L Ronchi c Sammy b Hasan 17

C Delport c Jordan b Hasan 28

A Hales c Pollard b Jordan 1

CWalton c Nabi b Mills 48

Asif Ali c Kamran b Pollard 0

Hussain Talat c Pollard b Hasan 19

Faheem Ashraf c Umar Amin b Jordan 31

Shadab Khan c Sammy b Wahab 0

M Sami c Pollard b Jordan 2

Rumman Raees not out 2

M Musa not out 8

EXTRAS: (lb2, nb2, w6) 10

TOTAL: (9 wkts; 20 overs) 166

FOW:1-24, 2-26, 3-89, 4-94, 5-105, 6-151, 7-152, 8-154, 9-155

BOWLING: Hasan Ali 4-0-29-3, T Mills 4-0-31-1, C Jordan 4-0-26-3, Wahab Riaz 4-0-25-1, K Pollard 4-0-53-1

TOSS: Islamabad United

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Kamran Akmal

UMPIRES: Ranmore Martinesz, Ahsan Raza

TV UMPIRE: Asif Yaqoob

MATCH REFEREE: Roshan Mahanama