KARACHI: Peshawar Zalmi has become the first team to have qualified for all six playoffs in Pakistan’s flagship cricket super league, of which remaining matches are held at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
One of Pakistan's most popular cricket franchises, Zalmi achieved the milestone on Thursday, after Karachi Kings defeated Lahore Qalandars by seven runs, limiting with better net run-rate Lahore's chances to qualify. Zalmi and Qalandars, have won five of the 10 matches they have played in the first phase of the tournament, earning 10 points each.
Kings became the second team to qualify for all six playoffs after beating Quetta Gladiators by 14 runs in its do-or-die last league game on Saturday, by which they knocked out Lahore.
"Peshawar Zalmi once again qualified for the playoffs. Congratulations to my team for being the first team in the PSL to have qualified in every six PSL into the playoffs," Peshawar Zalmi head coach Darren Sammy said in video message to Arab News.
As Zalmi will be facing Kings in the first eliminator on Monday, Sammy said they are ready.
"We are playing Karachi. We are ready for," he said. "The main goal right now is to win our second PSL title. I know that will mean the world to our fans, and especially my players and also our boss, Javed Afridi. You will love that. So inshallah we shall achieve that."
After losing an eliminator to Islamabad United in the PSL's inaugural edition in 2016, Zalmi won the tournament in 2017, defeating Quetta Gladiators by 58 runs after achieving the target of 149 runs in 16.3 overs.
In 2018, Zalmi again played the final after defeating Karachi Kings, but eventually lost to Islamabad United.
In 2019, Zalmi finished the group stage at first position by winning seven of their matches and losing only three, but in the final lost to Gladiators by eight wickets end became the runners up.
Last year, Zalmi lost to Lahore Qalandars in the first eliminator of the tournament.
Currently, Islamabad United is the table topper after winning eight of 10 matches. It will face Multan Sultans in a qualifier on Monday and the winner will go straight to the final, while the looser will play against the winner of the first eliminator.
The sixth edition of PSL resumed on June 9. It was suspended in March after a string of positive coronavirus cases among players and officials in Pakistan.