A one-for-the-ages 5-fer by Peshawar Zalmi’s Arif Yaqoob helped them script one of the most amazing comebacks in the history of the Pakistan Super League to beat the Islamabad United by 8 runs, with him taking four wickets and conceding just two runs in the 19th over of their match on Monday at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.

Yaqoob picked up a 5-fer in the process and ensured that his team ended the Lahore leg of the PSL on a winning note.

At the start of the 19th over, Islamabad needed only 21 off 12 with six wickets in hand. By the time the over was bowled, Islamabad were left needing 19 with just two wickets remaining. The Peshawar captain Babar Azam, who had earlier that night scored a scintillating century, took a gamble to bring on a spinner to bowl the penultimate over.

However, poor bowling by Peshawar’s fast bowlers had nearly cost them the game, with Afghanistan’s Naveenul Haq and Salman Irshad going for plenty before the former dismissed the set Islamabad United batter Azam Khan in the 18th over. Islamabad soon lost the plot and catapulted under pressure, losing the next five wickets in the space of 11 balls, adding just 10 runs to the total.

Islamabad had started cautiously and were three down, including their captain Shadab Khan, Jordan Cox — who was brought in for Alex Hales due to his unavailability for this game — and Agha Salman back in the hut at the halfway mark of the second innings.

With 129 still needed off the last 10 overs, Azam arrived at the crease with a mission to decimate the Peshawar bowling line-up. He scored a quick-fire 75 off 30, hitting six 4s and as many 6s. He was supported on the other end by the veteran Kiwi batter Colin Munro who scored a superb 71 off 53 balls, hitting seven 4s and one 6.

For Peshawar, Yaqoob stole the show with the ball, giving just 27 runs and picking up 5 wickets in the process.

Earlier in the night, Saim Ayub and Babar continued their good form with the bat from last night, having put on an opening stand of 77 before Saim was castled by Salman on a delivery that held its line. Peshawar though soon found themselves in a bothersome spot, losing half their side in the space of seven overs. Left reeling at 124/5, Asif Ali joined Babar at the crease with the latter taking the charge.

Babar put on a batting master class yet again and scored 111* off 63, smashing 14 4s and two 6s. He took Islamabad’s Hunain Shah to the cleaners by hitting him for 23 runs in one over. In the end, he had ensured that his team had enough runs on the scoreboard to defend the total.

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