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Babar and Ayub propel Peshawar into PSL playoffs; Hosein hat trick in vain for Quetta

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (AP) — Babar Azam and Saim Ayub upstaged Akeal Hosein’s hat trick as Peshawar Zalmi thumped Quetta Gladiators by 76 runs and booked a playoff spot in the Pakistan Super League on Friday.

Quetta batters fumbled for a second straight game and were bowled out for 120 in 17.5 overs after Peshawar made 196-8.

Ayub continued to make the most of his new allrounder role by claiming the key Quetta wickets of skipper Rilee Rossouw (8) and Khawaja Nafay (5) in one over.

Babar notched his fourth half-century of this PSL in a blazing 53 off 30 balls. Babar is the league leading batter with 447 runs at a strike rate of 154.67 in eight games.

Left-arm spinner Hosein achieved the first hat trick of this PSL in his last over. He had Aamer Jamal caught behind; bowled Mumtaz; and Rossouw grabbed a sharp catch of Luke Wood in the lone slip. Hosein finished with 4-23.

Despite Hosein, Ayub opened Peshawar's batting with 30 off 14 balls and Babar struck nine fours and a six before falling lbw to Hosein’s straight delivery in the 13th over. Rovman Powell (28 not out) and Naveen-ul-Haq (10 not out ) added 39 off the final 26 balls to set up an intimidating total.

Peshawar rose to second in the standings and could finish among the top two by winning the last league game against Islamabad United on Sunday. Quetta needs to win at least one of its remaining two matches to reach the playoffs.

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