KARACHI: Right-handed opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz struck a quickfire half-century and bolstered Islamabad United to thrash Peshawar Zalmi by six wickets in the 12th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season eight.
Set to chase a mere 157, the United comfortably steered to a six-wicket victory with 31 balls to spare at the back of a scintillating half-century by Gurbaz.
Earlier, the United openers Gurbaz provided his side with a flying start despite his partner Colin Munro perishing cheaply for just nine.
The right-handed charged on the Zalmi bowlers as he brought up his half-century in just 24 deliveries before falling in the ninth over after scoring a quickfire 61.
Gurbaz faced a mere 31 balls on his way to 61, hitting seven boundaries and four sixes.
Following his dismissal, Rassie van der Dussen stitched brief yet crucial partnerships with Shadab Khan (3) and Asif Ali before departing in the 13th over when his side needed just 17 in 42 deliveries.
He scored 42 off just 29 deliveries and hit six boundaries.
Following his dismissal, Asif then put on an unbeaten match-winning partnership with Azam Khan (9*) and propelled his side to a dominating six-wicket victory. Asif remained unbeaten on 29. He faced just 13 deliveries and smashed four boundaries including three sixes.
For Zalmi, Usman Qadir, Arshad Iqbal and James Neesham could pick up a wicket.
Put into bat first, the Zalmi could raise 156/8 in 20 overs despite a gritty 75-run knock by their skipper Babar Azam and a brisk knock of 41 by Mohammad Haris.
The opening pair of Zalmi gave the side a flying start against the United as they added 76 runs within seven overs before Shadab provided a much-needed breakthrough by removing Haris on the final delivery.
Haris scored quickfire 41 runs off just 20 deliveries, hitting four boundaries and a six.
Young batting sensation Saim Ayub fell victim to Mubasir Khan in the next over for just three before Hasan Ali struck twice in the 10th over to push Zalmi to the backfoot as the side slipped to 88/4 in 10 overs.
Zalmi could not recover from the collapse and kept losing wickets at an alarming rate which halted their march towards a big total.
Babar, on the other hand, held his ground firm and carried his bat all the way through but some tight bowling display from the United barred Zalmi from amassing a big total.
Skipper Babar remained the top-scorer for his side with 75 off 58 deliveries, laced with seven boundaries and a six.
Hasan led the bowling attack for the United with 3/35 while Shadab, Rumman Raees, Faheem Ashraf and Mubasir made one scalp each.