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Islamabad United defeat Peshawar Zalmi by three wickets and claim the Pakistan Super League 2018 title at the National Stadium Karachi on Sunday.

After winning the toss and opting to bat first, Peshawar Zalmi sent out the pairing of Kamran Akmal and Andre Fletcher to open their innings, whereas Samit Patel and Mohammad Sami shared the new ball for Islamabad United.After two quiet overs, things livened up in the third as Fletcher hit back-to-back fours off the bowling of Patel.

Zalmi were dealt a huge blow in the third over when the in-form Akmal departed. Patel had him trapped in front of the wickets and even though he took a review; he failed.ive overs into the final, Zalmi were 36-2 -- not the kind of start they would have wanted in the most important match of their PSL 2018 campaign.

And they were soon given another jolt. Shadab Khan was introduced into the attack in the 6th over and he struck almost instantly, sending Fletcher back into the dugout.

Zalmi brought up their century in the 14th over but were dealt another setback in the follow-up over when Hussain Talat removed Saad Nasim.The wickets kept on tumbling but Zalmi did just enough to put 148 runs on the board for the loss of 9 wickets in their allotted 20 overs. They owed a great deal to Wahab Riaz's late cameo (28 runs off 14 balls).

The new ball was tossed to Hasan Ali, who bowled a trio of decent balls before Luke Ronchi's rampage began. He hit the pacer for two consecutive sixes to cement Islamabad United's position as the favourites in the match.

The hard-hitting kiwi smacked another maximum off Sameen Gul in the second over, mesmerising the Karachi crowd but chipping away at the hopes of an evenly contested game.

By the end of 5 overs, United were 63-0 and cruising towards the title.
United wouldn't lose their first wicket until the 9th over when Jordan had Ronchi (52 off 26 balls) caught. The New Zealand departed having scored his 5th half-century of the tournament.

Having lost their first wicket in the 9th, United stuttered a little, losing two more batsmen -- Chadwick Walton and JP Duminy -- in as many overs. But by the end of the 11th over, they were 106-3 and needed just 43 runs off 54 balls to reclaim the PSL title.

Zalmi could have had another wicket had Akmal not dropped Asif Ali's catch on the penultimate ball of the 15th over.With just 5 overs left in PSL 2018, United needed 23 runs and had four wickets in hand.

A hero was needed and Asif Ali decided to volunteer. He smashed three sixes in a tensed situation. His six-ball 26-run cameo, laced with three 6s, saw United through.

Zalmi could have had another wicket had Akmal not dropped Asif Ali's catch on the penultimate ball of the 15th over.

United, the inaugural PSL champions, had reclaimed their title. Luke Ronchi received player of the match award.


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