A nail-biting Lahore Qalandars defeated Peshawar Zalmi by four wickets to advance to the final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), where they will face Multan Sultans for the eighth season’s title.
Chasing a target of 172 runs, Kalans reached home in 18.5 overs.
They lost Fakhar Zaman (6) early to Azmatullah Omarzai after a lock as he tried to play a big shot.
Meanwhile, Ahsan Hafeez, who was playing his first match in the PSL, took a simple shot from Wahab Riaz to keeper Hasibullah. The left-hander scored 15 runs in 10 balls.
After a major disagreement between Abdullah Shafiq and Mirza Tahir Baig, the former was sent packing. The right-handed batsman scored 10 goals.
Shafiq’s departure brought Sam Billings to the crease, who along with Tahir restored the Qalandars’ run-rate with a crucial 50-run partnership in 28 balls.
However, after reaching his maiden T20 fifty, Tahir was dismissed after Aamer Jamal wrapped up the decisive scalp. He scored 54 runs in 42 balls with the help of seven fours and two sixes.
Billings was cleaned up by a brilliant yorker Salman Irshad. He scored 28 valuable runs in 21 balls. Sikandar Raza scored 22 runs in 13 balls.
Shaheen Afridi hit a six and a four in the 19th over to take his team over the line.
Earlier, Zalmi scored 171-5 in their allotted 20 overs.
Pacer Zaman Khan from his side flew back off the field after cracking the stumps of Saim Ayub (9).
After an early setback, Babar Azam and Mohammad Haris added 89 runs off 60 balls for the second wicket to put Zalmi in control of the match.
However, when the Calans needed it, Rashid Khan claimed two wickets to send Babar (42 off 36) and Tom Kohler-Cudmore (0) home.
However, Haris continued to play the strokes lightly and scored 85 runs in 54 balls. His impressive knock included 11 fours and two sixes.
Shaheen was costly with the ball as he conceded 41 runs in his four overs but sent Haris back to the pavilion on the final delivery of his spell.
Zaman was the bowler’s choice for cities with figures of 2-20.
Lahore Cities: Mirza Tahir Baig, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Sam Billings (wk), Ahsan Bhatti, Sikandar Raza, David Wiese, Rashid Khan, Shaheen Afridi (c), Haris Rauf, Zaman Khan
Peshawar Zalmi: Saim Ayub, Babar Azam (c), Tom Koehler-Cudmore, Mohammad Haris, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Hasibullah Khan (wk), Aamer Jamal, Azmatullah Omarzai, Wahab Riaz, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Salman Irshad