Imad Haider script stunning turnaround to put Islamabad in final

PSL 2024

Chasing 186, Islamabad United were 50/4 at one stage before Imad Wasim and Haider Ali led the recovery.

Imad Wasim stepped up for the second consecutive day, this time with the bat, to put Islamabad United in the PSL 2024 final. His side were reeling in the run chase against Peshawar Zalmi at one stage with hopes diminishing thick and fast. However, Imad joined forces with Haider Ali to script a stunning turnaround that has now helped his side set up a title clash on Monday (March 18) against Multan Sultans.

Even though Saim Ayub began proceedings in the chase by bowling three wides in the opening over, success was in store for Peshawar Zalmi as he got the big wicket of Alex Hales. Ayub struck again, in his second over this time, to go through the gate and castle Agha Salman. Skipper Shadab Khan didn't last more than two deliveries as he too got castled to leave his side reeling at 21/3. Guptill then provided the much-needed boost in the powerplay as he took on Ayub to cart him around for four fours and a six to take off 22. However, Islamabad's joy was short-lived as Khurram Shahzad managed to get rid of the former New Zealand just before the powerplay ended.

At 50/4, all hopes seemed to have been lost given the target was 186. Azam Khan didn't last long either despite making a promising start. However, Haider's entry turned the game completely around for the batting side. He went on a boundary-hitting spree to race to 32 off 22 and even Imad started to accelerate despite batting at 18 off 20 at one point.

With 35 runs needed off the final three overs, the game completely swung in favour of the batting side after Aamer Jamal was taken apart. Imad started the over with a boundary and finished it with another one to also bring up a fifty. In between those two boundaries, Haider clobbered two sixes off two deliveries over deep midwicket as Jamal ended up conceding 23. One more hit over the fence in the following over brought up Haider's fifty as well before Imam applied the finishing touches.

Earlier in the day, Peshawar got off to an excellent start despite Babar Azam's 22-ball 25. Ayub, who starred with the ball in the powerplay, did damage with the bat as well prior to that. After fetching a six off Naseem Shah in the first over, he hammered Obed McCoy for 6,4,4 to round off the second. Faheem Ashraf wasn't spared either as Peshawar posted 59 in the powerplay. Naseem finally broke the opening stand by getting rid of Babar but there was no stopping Ayub who was dealing in sixes. Only Imad managed to squeeze through his four overs without damage with the rest leaking runs around him.

At the end of the 14th over, Peshawar had 130 on the board for the loss of just Babar and from thereon, they would have fancied their chances of getting closer to 195. But Shadab removing Ayub for 73 and Naseem sending the other well-set batter Mohammad Haris back in the following over dented Peshawar. If not for some handy cameos from Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Jamal, Peshawar wouldn't have crossed 180.

Brief scores: Peshawar Zalmi185/5 in 20 overs (Saim Ayub 73, Mohammad Haris 40; Naseem Shah 3/30) lost to Islamabad United 189/5 in 19 overs (Imad Wasim 59*, Haider Ali 52*; Saim Ayub 2/34) by 5 wickets