Having won the toss and elected to field, Safraz Ahmed’s side got off to a fine start as Imam-ul-Haq was dismissed early and they continued to take wickets at regular intervals as Peshawar struggled to a total of 138-8.
Youngster Mohammad Hasnain has been turning heads with his searing pace this season and impressed yet again.
Here, we take a closer look at the 18-year-old’s display.
Dot balls: 9
Hasnain followed the example of the more experienced Sohail Tanvir who put the batsmen under pressure with a tight opening over. The youngster kept his line narrow, affording little room to manoeuvre. He made the early breakthrough for his side, getting rid of Imam-ul-Haq in his first over.
Sarfraz then decided to save the quick’s remaining quota for later on in the innings. He struck immediately once brought back into the attack for the 14th over, dismissing Umar Amin – who had been rebuilding Zalmi’s innings with a knock of 38 from 33 balls – with the first delivery.
Hasnain was proving a tough customer in the death overs and picked up the wicket of the dangerous Kieron Pollard, getting him out caught behind. A couple of streaky boundaries behind the wicket from Darren Sammy in his final over took some shine off the pacer’s figures of 3-30.
Given his height and genuine pace, Hasnain is always going to generate a bit of bounce off the surface. It proved to be one of the main weapons in his arsenal and he utilised it to great effect.
A shorter delivery to Imam-ul-Haq beat the left-hander for bounce as he charged down the track to have a swing, only to make contact with the top edge and sky one to Ahmed Shehzad.
Two genuine bouncers then earned him his other wickets. First, Amin took the bait and went for the pull shot but Tanvir was waiting for the catch in the deep. Then, another one zipped off the wicket for Pollard who went for a wild swing but only registered the slightest of edges for Sarfraz.
OUT! Quick delivery from Mohammad Hasnain and Umar Amin is removed after scoring 38 runs. Peshawar Zalmi are 90/4 in the 14th over now— Cricingif (@_cricingif) March 17, 2019
Ball-by-ball clips & scorecard 👉 https://t.co/6DBUDl8EUY #QGvPZ #PSL2019 #PSLFinal #KhelDeewanoKa #CricketForAll pic.twitter.com/iU7zsXuLKM
When you bowl with the kind of pace Hasnain does, accuracy is key. A loose delivery can fly off the bat and onto the fence in the blink of an eye. The Quetta seamer was relatively disciplined but a few wayward balls were punished.
Akmal and Pollard hit him for four when he pitched wide outside the off-stump. His final delivery was a similar one and caught the edge from Sammy, racing to the ropes with third man inside the circle.
VERDICT – 8/10
He picked up some huge wickets and was a tad unfortunate not to end with better figures. The youngster has scope for improvement but will only get better and a display like this in the final is evidence of a good temperament.
The curtain is set to come down on PSL 2019 in Karachi on Sunday night – and two of the best teams in the tournament are vying to take centre stage.
Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators finished first and second respectively in the league standings, with the likes of Kamran Akmal, Hasan Ali and Shane Watson writing headlines over the course of the last month.
Quetta have one distinct advantage – they know what it takes to beat Zalmi, three times in fact, over the season to this point. Will they clinch another victory, or will the fourth time be the charm for Peshawar?
Catch our ball by ball updates below, with the action starting at 19:00 GST:
While Peshawar succeeded in lifting the trophy in 2017, beating Quetta in the final, their opponents are yet to taste success.
The two sides have enjoyed a fine rivalry this season as well. Peshawar pipped Quetta to top spot during the league stage but have lost to them three times.
Here, we look at the players who could help decide the winner.
Leading the run-scoring charts with a tally of 423 so far, Shane Watson is naturally the first name that comes to mind. The explosive opener has the ability to take the game away from the opposition and will be desperate to shine in his first PSL final.
Having turned out for the Pakistan leg of the tournament for the first time this year, the Australian also has the opportunity to break Luke Ronchi’s record for the most runs in a single season (435 in 2018), needing just 13 runs to do so.
Peshawar Zalmi will be especially wary of Watson having been on the receiving end of his wrath twice this year. He scored an unbeaten 91 off 55 balls during Quetta Gladiators’ victory over them in Abu Dhabi before hitting 71 off 43 in the Karachi Qualifier.
With the title on the line, you need experienced heads to lead the way and you can’t do much better than Kamran Akmal in that regard. The 37-year-old is the PSL’s top run-scorer of all time with 1265 under his belt.
He’s been there and done it with Peshawar already – and against Quetta as well. Akmal was the Player of the Series and top-scored with 40 runs when Peshawar beat Quetta in the 2017 final to lift the title.
In Darren Sammy and Kieron Pollard, Zalmi’s batting runs deep but they can only truly capitalise when someone like Akmal lays the foundation for the innings at the top. The Pakistani opener has come into form at the business end of the season with all three of his half centuries this campaign coming in the last five matches. He’s also registered scores of 22, 49 and 72 against Quetta this season.
Despite boasting a formidable batting order, bowling remains Peshawar’s calling card. That’s no surprise given their attack includes two of the top three wicket-takers this season in Hasan Ali and Wahab Riaz.
The latter is the PSL’s top wicket-taker of all time with 64 scalps across four seasons but it’s his team-mate – almost 10 years his junior – who’s been a sensation this season. Ali leads the charts with 25 wickets this term, which is already the most in a single season.
The 24-year-old seamer has used his variations to good effect this campaign and shone in the second Eliminator against holders Islamabad United with figures of 3-29, dismissing the dangerous opening pair of Luke Ronchi and Cameron Delport before claiming Hussain Talat’s wicket as well.