Islamabad United beat Peshawar Zalmi by three wickets, win PSL 2018: As it happened

Peshawar Zalmi looked like they might be able to make an unlikely comeback defending a target of 149 but Asif Ali's hat-trick of sixes helped Islamabad United win a second PSL title.

Luke Ronchi smashed 52 off 26 balls to set up Islamabad’s win. (Source: PSL Twitter)

What a match it turned out to be in the end. It can’t be called the best of T20 cricket in terms of batting technique, although what Luke Ronchi and Sahibzada Farhan did in first half of the Islamabad United innings was the best you would find anywhere. After that, though, it was a different match altogether. Islamabad, who looked so solid throughout this final, suddenly looked jittery and were playing the rashest of shots. While the required rate was never really a problem, their tendency to lose wickets certainly was. Asif Ali then smashed a hat-trick of sixes off Wahab Riaz in the 16th over to practically finish the match. Islamabad did take their time to score that last run but they did get there eventually.

  1. 12:20AM
    26 Mar, 18
    Islamabad United beat Peshawar Zalmi by three wickets, win PSL 2018

    Islamabad United are now two-time champions of the Pakistan Super League. They have been  domintant throughout the season and have finally seen it through. It did look like Zalmi might pull of the unlikeliest of comebacks but in the end, the target they had to defend was too low and Asif Ali took away any chances they had of winning with those three consecutive sixes. It was a great match and the cricket-starved crowds in Karachi surely got their heart's fill. 

  2. 12:06AM
    26 Mar, 18
    SIX! SIX! SIX! and suddenly Islamabad on the brink of a win

    Asif Ali takes Hasan Ali for three consecutive sixes in the 16th over and suddenly all the tension is released, Islamabad need 1 run to win now

  3. 11:54PM
    25 Mar, 18
    GONE! Jordan takes a stunner and Shadab Khan has to depart

    This is absolutely crazy. What need is there to play a loose shot like that is beyond any realm of imagination. But Shadab looks to go through a short ball, no timing or placement and Jordan takes a brilliant one handed diving catch. 

  4. 11:50PM
    25 Mar, 18
    Right here is the equation, Islamabad are 115/5, need 20 to win off 30 balls

    Not too difficult one would think. But Islamabad are playing like they have to make 10 runs in five balls. They are making rash slashes at the ball and trying to take impossible runs. To what end, is a million dollar question. 

  5. 11:42PM
    25 Mar, 18
    Islamabad 36 runs to win off 44 balls

    So six sixes in an over should help them do it. That is in a perfect world. In the real world where Karachi is located, Peshawar bowlers are spitting fire. Samit Patel was cut in half by Jordan and there seemed to be a nick as it travelled to keeper. The umpire said no, Sammy reviewed and the umpire's decison stood. 

  6. 11:26PM
    25 Mar, 18
    GONE! Duminy falls and suddenly, Islamabad looking vulnerable

    Duminy hits it straight back to Chris Jordan and the stand-in captain is the third wicket to fall. Islamabad still have a very favourable equation but they are losing wickets far too frequently now. 

  7. 11:16PM
    25 Mar, 18
    GONE! Luke Ronchi dismissed after he goes past his 50, Peshawar 96/1

    He reached his half century in 25 balls and then cuts it straight to point. Peshawar finally get the breakthrough they were looking for and have taken a baby step in climbing the mountain that is in front of him

  8. 11:05PM
    25 Mar, 18
    Islamabad are walking to victory at the moment

    Luke Ronchi has toned down his assault but that early run feast has done the damage, Islamabad now need 75 to win off 78 runs. While Ronchi has grown silent, his opening partner Farhan is freeing up and finding the boundary more consistently 

  9. 10:50PM
    25 Mar, 18
    Luke Ronchi is making sure that the Karachi crowd have their fair share of the ball

    He has hit 4 sixes so far and has made 35 runs off 13 balls. Islamabad are now 40/0 off 3 overs. 

  10. 10:36PM
    25 Mar, 18
    What a start!

    Luke Ronchi is the man to fear in T20 cricket and he shows why. He warms up with three dot balls and then hits two consecutive sixes off the first over bowled by Hasan Ali. He ends with a double and 14 runs have been scored off that opening over. 

  11. 10:27PM
    25 Mar, 18
    Peshawar Zalmi sets target of 149 for Islamabad United to chase

    They didn't look like they would last 20 overs but Wahab Riaz turned it around for them with a valuable, 28-run cameo. The last wicket has produced 27 runs for Peshawar. It is not the kind of total that will make Peshawar too confident and Islamabad know that this still is their match to lose. But Wahab's push in the end has shifted momentum Peshawar's way. 

  12. 10:18PM
    25 Mar, 18
    Wahab Riaz is turning it around for Peshawar

    Riaz is turning out to be an unlikey hero for Peshawar. He has smashed 22 off 11 balls and suddenly, Peshawar are 142/9. The last wicket has produced 25 runs. 

  13. 10:07PM
    25 Mar, 18
    GONE! Walton takes a brilliant catch diving forward to dismiss Hasan Ali, Peshawar 121/9

    It was not a bad shot, Hasan Ali steps back and pulls a short ball but Chadwick Walton  runs in and dives forward to complete a superb catch. 

  14. 10:02PM
    25 Mar, 18
    GONE! Mohammad Sami strikes and Liam Dawson has to walk back, Peshawar 120/8

    It is the senior statesman who gets Dawson. Peshawar are reeling now and their bowlers may not have too much left to defend. At current rate, even 150 looks a distant dream. 

  15. 9:54PM
    25 Mar, 18
    TWO IN TWO! Umaid Asif the next to go

    Anoither LBW, went for the pull and misses it completely, the ball hits the thigh and the umpire gives not out. Islamabad go for the review and all the boxes are ticked. The decision is reversed!

  16. 9:50PM
    25 Mar, 18
    GONE! It's the big man! It's Darren Sammy, Shadab Khan strikes, Peshawar 111/6

    Another LBW and Islamabad smacking their lips now. They have Peshawar exactly where they want them. A googly that pitches on off and rips back in to beat Sammy and he is plumb. 

  17. 9:46PM
    25 Mar, 18
    Peshawar Zalmi 109/5, Sammy gets off the mark in style

    A beautiful four from the West Indies star to get started. Peshawar manage three more runs and they are now at 109/5

  18. 9:41PM
    25 Mar, 18
    OUT! Saad Nasim hits it straight back at Hussain Talat and Peshawar are now 101/5

    A skiddy length ball that beats the batsman for pace, ends up hitting straight into the hands of the bowler, Talat gets his second of the day. Out comes Darren Sammy. 

  19. 9:28PM
    25 Mar, 18
    OUT! Chris Jordan dismissed by Hussain Talat, Peshawar 90/4

    And the deadlock is broken! Jordan hit a six off just the previous ball and tries to go big again. This time, though, he finds JP Duminy at the boundary. 

  20. 9:25PM
    25 Mar, 18
    Peshawar 83/3 after 12 overs

    Jordan has moved to 30 while Dawson is on 21. Zalmi will have know that the current rate is going to do them no good. They will be looking to step up in the coming overs and Islamabad will also be looking to force some mistakes in that period.

  21. 9:10PM
    25 Mar, 18
    Peshawar cross the 50-run mark

    English duo Chris Jordan and Liam Dawson are giving Peshawar some much needed stability. They have managed to take the scorecard to 62/3 and now the pressure is back on the bowler. 

  22. 9:00PM
    25 Mar, 18
    WICKET! Andre Fletcher trapped LBW by Shadab Khan, Peshawar 38/3

    Well this is a rather horrendous start for Zalmi. Fletcher looks to defend and is not able to bring his bat down in time, no hesitation for the umpire to raise his finger. 

  23. 8:56PM
    25 Mar, 18
    5 overs gone, Peshawar 36/2

    Islamabad would count this as a fantastic start. They haven't allowed the Peshawar batsmen get away that easily with runs. Samit Patel has been as effective as he could have been in his first two overs of the match, giving just 21 runs and taking two wickets. 

  24. 8:52PM
    25 Mar, 18
    OUT! Mohammad Hafeezis caught and bowled in brilliant fashion by Samit Patel, Peshawar 26/2

    Well how about that, Hafeez had hit the first six of the evening just the previous over and took a single to retain strike. Patel tosses it up and Hafeez defends it back, the bowler then does well to dive to his left and take the catch.

  25. 8:44PM
    25 Mar, 18
    GONE! Samit Patel traps Kamran Akmal LBW, Peshawar 12/1

    If the first two overs were quiet, the third is anything but. Andre Fletcher hammers consecutive fours off the first two balls off Patel before taking a single. The very next ball, Akmal gets down on one knee looking for the sweep but he misses it completely and takes it on the front leg. Aleem Dar raises his finger but Akmal reviews. Three reds, plumb in front, review wasted and Islamabad get a very important wicket. 

  26. 8:39PM
    25 Mar, 18
    Peshawar 3/0 after 2 overs

    This has been a good tight start from Islamabad, just three runs given away in the first two overs. Meanwhile here is an image from Karachi. Talk about long lines!

  27. 8:33PM
    25 Mar, 18

    Kamran Akmal and Andre Fletcher open the innings for Peshawar, Samit Patel starts the Islamabad attack. It is a good first over from the Englishman and he gives away just one run. 

  28. 8:06PM
    25 Mar, 18
    Peshawar Zalmi win the toss, elect to bat first

    Darren Sammy decides to take the field second this time. The two captains confirm their teams and here they are 

    Peshawar Zalmi: Kamran, Fletcher, Hafeez. Nasim, Dawson, Sammy, Jordan, Hasan Ali, Wahab, Umaid, Sameen Gul

    Islamabad United: Ronchi, Walton, Duminy, Farhan, Hussain, Asif, Khan, Faheem, Ammad Butt, Sami, Patel

  29. 7:39PM
    25 Mar, 18
    Hello and welcome to the coverage of the final of the Pakistan Super League

    Mahela Jayawardene scored 240 and Thilan Samaraweera made 231. Between them, they put up a stand of 437 for the fourth wicket. Then Pakistan came to bat and their innings was defined by Younis Khan. He shared a stand of 149 with Shoaib Malik, 130 with Misbah-Ul-Haq and 174 with Faisal Iqbal before Kamran Akmal and Yasir Arafat put up an unbeaten stand of 169 for the seventh wicket. Younis became only the third Pakistani batsman to get a triple century in Test cricket and had made 313 before Akmal made 158. And that's the first two innings of the last Test match to be played in Karachi in a nutshell. It ended in a draw and since then, no international fixture has been played there. The PSL final may not techically be an international fixture and it certainly doesn't hold the aesthetic value of a Test match. But it is T20 cricket, a Pakistan Super League final and for the first time since 2009, residents of Karachi will be able to see international stars playing in their city. Their home team, Karachi Kings, may have been eliminated but, judging from the images coming from the city, it doesn't look like that will make a dent in the atmosphere one bit.