Paceman Usman Shinwari took four wickets to help Karachi Kings overwhelm table toppers Islamabad United by seven wickets in Sharjah on Friday to set date with the same team in the qualifier two days later.
Shinwari finished with 4-17 in his four hostile overs to bundle Islamabad for 124 in 18.5 overs before their batsmen knocked off the modest target in xx overs before a packed Sharjah stadium.
Earlier Peshawar Zalmi also beat Lahore Qalandars by seven wickets to seal the play-off berth and will now play Quetta Gladiators in the eliminator one in Lahore on Tuesday, a repeat of last year’s final.
Joe Denly (36), Babar Azam () and xxx shared the honours in batting after opener Khurram Manzoor was dismissed for 15 but the target was never beyond Karachi’s reach as Islamabad were left to rue their batting problems.
The victory means Karachi Kings and Islamabad will meet again in the qualifier in Dubai on Sunday while Quetta and Peshawar Zalmi — the finalists last year — will face off in the eliminator in Lahore on March 20.
Shinwari and Shahid Afridi (2-18) rocked the formidable Islamabad team, which rested their in-form opener Luke Ronchi, paceman Mohammad Sami and spinner Samit Patel.
Shinwari toppled Jean-Paul Duminy for four to give an opening to karachi Kings and then wrapped up the tail with wickets of Faheem Ashraf (three), Zafar Gohar (three) and Steven Finn (nought).
It was only through a 35-run stand between Chadwick Walton (21) and Misbah-ul-Haq 919) that Islamabad overcome the early losses but Afridi had his former teammate in the ninth over to once again derail Islamabad.
Asif then smashed four sixes in his 14-ball cameo but it wasn’t enough as Islamabad continued to lose wickets and were folded in 18.5 overs.