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Peshawar beat Islamabad in PSL thriller

Captain Wahab Riaz became the first bowler to reach 100 wickets in the Pakistan Super League as he led Peshawar Zalmi to a 10-run win over injury-hit Islamabad United in a high-scoring thriller.

Azam Khan’s belligerent 85 off 45 balls nearly upstaged Peshawar before Riaz, who took 2-26, had him caught at long-off in the 19th over to halt Islamabad’s chase at 7-196.

Islamabad, playing without their injured skipper Shadab Khan and fast bowler Zeeshan Zameer, had earlier pulled back Peshawar to 8-206 after young opener Haris Khan had bludgeoned 70 off just 32 balls in one of the most impressive knocks this season.

Afghanistan opening batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz provided Islamabad a whirlwind start by smashing 46 off 19 balls before Azam continued to prosper against both pace and spin and kept Islamabad in the hunt.

Liam Livingstone, who dropped Gurbaz’s straightforward catch at deep mid-wicket in the second over, had the Afghan opener caught in the fourth over before Azam smacked seven sixes and six boundaries.

Fast bowler Salman Irshad (3-29), who picked up the wicket of Gurbaz, dealt two blows in his return spell when he claimed the wickets of interim Islamabad captain Asif Ali (11) and Faheem Ashraf (9) in successive overs before Riaz sealed the game in the 19th.

Earlier, 20-year-old Haris completed his half century off just 18 balls before he attempted an extravagant reverse sweep against medium fast Waqas Maqsood in the 10th over and was caught at short fine leg.

Veteran Shoaib Malik (38) and Yasir Khan (35) played little cameos, but Peshawar’s three foreign signings Sherfane Rutherford (16) Livingstone (9) and Australian Ben Cutting (0) couldn’t accelerate in the death overs with Islamabad claiming five wickets in the last five overs for 41 runs.

Faheem Ashraf, who got the wickets of Rutherford and Livingstone, finished with 3-33.

Peshawar jumped to third on the table with 10 points from nine games while Islamabad are fourth, with eight points from as many matches.

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