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Peshawar tops Karachi by 2 runs and leads Pakistan Super League

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Peshawar Zalmi successfully defended a 147 total to beat Karachi Kings by two runs in a Pakistan Super League nailbiter on Monday.

On the last ball, Irfan Khan needed a boundary and fast bowler Aamer Jamal conceded only one bye.

Peshawar moved to the top of the standings and will play the first qualifier in the playoffs on Thursday. Peshawar’s opponent will be determined on Tuesday after the last round-robin game between other qualifiers Multan Sultans and Quetta Gladiators.

Two-time champion Islamabad United is the other playoffs team and will take on the loser of Tuesday’s game in the eliminator on Friday.

Karachi, which was already eliminated from the playoffs race, finished fifth overall with four wins in 10 matches, and defending champion the Lahore Qalandars had a dismal campaign with only one win and eight losses.

Peshawar rode captain Babar Azam’s fifth half-century, 51, and Rovman Powell’s brisk 30 off 18 balls to reach 147-6 on a tricky pitch which offered plenty of turn. Even so, both batters were run out.

Karachi came agonizingly close in reaching 145-5. Tim Siefert (41) and James Vince (21) gave Karachi a resolute start of 61 by smashing 12 boundaries between them. Then the batters were strangled by Afghanistan fast bowler Naveen-ul-Haq, 2-22, and Saim Ayub, 1-18, in the middle overs. Khan hit 39 not out and almost won it.

Left-arm spinner Arafat Minhas, with 1-11, bowled the most economical four-over spell of the league against Peshawar.

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AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket