Peshawar Zalmi are 112-7 at the end of 16 overs after winning the toss and opting to bat first against Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League 2018 final at the National Stadium Karachi.
Kamran Akmal and Andre Fletcher opened the innings for the defending champions, 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.
Mohammad Hafeez walked in to join Fletcher in the middle.
The Professor hit the most effortless of 6s in the 4th over bowled by Sami before sent packing by Patel on the first ball of the 5th. Here’s that sequence:
Five 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.
But Chris Jordan looked in good touch. He hit a six each in the 8th, 9th and 10 overs.
Halfway through their innings, Zalmi were 73-3, with Jordan and Liam Dawson at the crease.
Here’s the view from the press box from where Dawn.com sports team is covering this match live.
Jordan hit another maximum before his 36-run innings came to an end in the 13th over.
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.
With just 5 overs left in their innings, Zalmi were 110-5 and in desperate need for some late fireworks from their captain Darren Sammy and Liam Dawson.
The curse of Nelson was there for all to see as Zalmi lost two batsmen at the score of 111. First Sammy (6) fell prey to Shadab before Umaid Asif met the same fate.
Dawn.com is at the stadium to cover the match live for our readers. We’re sat just behind the VVIP gallery; lots of security, lots of famous faces here.
The opening ceremony ahead of the final has ended. The podium has been disbanded. The stadium is packed to the rafters and the players are all warmed up.
Both the squads have lined up for a pre-match team photo.
The entire stadium stood up to pay their respect when the national anthem was played.
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