Hasan, Imam win it for Zalmi despite no-ball controversy
Peshawar Zalmi 146 for 5 (Imam 52, Malan 38, Junaid 2-27) beat Multan Sultans 145 (Charles 53, Hasan 4-17) by five wickets
How the game unfolded
A trio of Hasan Ali four-fors has now led to a trio of wins for Peshawar Zalmi as the fast bowler produced another incisive spell before Imam-Ul-Haq's half-century set up a five-wicket win over Multan Sultans. After striking on the first ball of the chase to trap Liam Livingstone lbw two matches earlier in Zalmi's win over Karachi Kings, Hasan struck on the second ball of the match on Sunday to claim another Englishman early in proceedings as James Vince was bowled by a superb delivery that seamed back to get Zalmi off to a hot start.
But it was Zalmi's hot finish in both innings that eventually won them the match. Hasan's began the 19th with the wicket of Shoaib Malik to spark a sequence of six wickets in 12 balls as Sultans went from 140 for 4 to 145 all out, effectively letting Johnson Charles' 28-ball half-century go to waste.
After Imam was controversially given out for 52 in the 17th over off the bowling of Junaid Khan, Sultans string of dot-ball pressure built by Junaid and Mohammad Irfan was eventually broken by Kieron Pollard. Four consecutive sixes took the equation from 31 off 16 balls down to under a run-a-ball with two overs left before Daren Sammy eventually clipped the winning single in the final over with two balls to spare.
- Zalmi were electric in the field but two moments stood out. Imam produced a sensational diving effort at deep midwicket to turn a Charles six into a wicket off Umaid Khan in the tenth over. But Dawid Malan outdid Imam with a one-handed leaping effort at deep square leg to send Dan Christian back at the start of the 16th.
- Hasan produced a triple-wicket over for the second time in three matches. He began the 19th getting Shoaib edging one down the leg side that was given not out on field but overturned on DRS. Two balls later Shahid Afridi fell slogging him to long-on before Hammad Azam was trapped with another ball that seamed in sharply.
- Pollard ensured Zalmi were not hard done by the third umpire's (mis)judgment on the Imam dismissal by clattering Irfan over the ropes at square leg, long-off and then twice over extra cover on the last four balls of the 18th over of Zalmi's chase for a 24-run over.
Star of the day
Toss up between Hasan and Imam. Zalmi have found it difficult to win matches on days when Hasan goes quiet but he erupted again in Sharjah on Sunday. Imam's half-century was well-paced but arguably his diving catch on the boundary to get Charles had a greater impact on the match at a time when Charles was scorching it.
The big miss
You can't spell third umpire without ire and Rashid Riaz drew Zalmi's with his curious call to uphold Imam's lbw dismissal by Junaid at a critical moment of the chase. Replays seemed to clearly show Junaid had no part of his front foot behind the line. Zalmi's dugout, not to mention Danny Morrison on TV commentary, were furious that a no-ball was not called to allow Imam's innings to continue, though it wound up not impacting the final result.
Where the teams stand
Zalmi's third win now moves them into second place, equal with Islamabad United on six points but ahead of Islamabad United on net run rate. Sultans remain in the cellar with Karachi Kings on two points, though Sultans are officially fifth with a better net run rate.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna