Hasan Khan hit the winning six as Quetta Gladiators stunned Multan Sultan to win by two wickets and one ball to spare to keep their play-off hopes alive in the Pakistan Super League. Chasing 153, Quetta were struggling at 118-6 but smashed 40 runs in their last four overs to hand Multan Sultans their second defeat. Fast bowler Umar Gul’s remarkable effort thus went in vain. He finished with stunning figures of 6-24, reached 200 wickets in T20 cricket but still ended up on the losing side.
Shoaib Malik had top-scored for Multan with 65 not out in their score of 152-5. In the chase, Quetta saw decent contributions from Rilee Rossouw (27) and Shane Watson (26).
Here are the key takeaways from the match:
SHOAIB MALIK IS CAPTAIN MARVEL
When he arrived at the crease, Multan were in trouble at 41-3 after six overs. The 36-year-old’s previous top-score this competition was 48 not out but and he bettered that by some margin on Wednesday with unbeaten 65 from 43. He formed vital partnerships with Sohaib Maqsood, Ross Whiteley and Keiron Pollard before leading the assault in the last five overs. He hit back-to-back boundaries in the 16th over before reaching his fifty through a four off Rahat Ali for his first PSL half-century of the season. He later returned to dismiss Kevin Pietersen for five.
FRUSTRATING DEBUT FOR BEN LAUGHLIN
Drafted into the Quetta Gladiators squad following Jofra Archer’s injury, the 35-year-old Australian pacer did not have the best of starts. He accounted for the in form Sohaib Maqsood. But, that was as good as it got for Laughlin. What started positively turned out to be a disappointment. His third over went for for 11 and his final for 18 as Malik and Pollard attacked at the death.
QUETTA’S NEVER-SAY-DIE ATTITUDE
It seemed Quetta were staring at another defeat when Rilee Rossouw was dismissed in the 17th over. At that point, they were 118-6 but last season’s runners-up did not give up. Big hitting from Anwar Ali (15 from 8), Mohammad Nawaz (11 from 4) proved vital before Hasan Khan’s six off Pollard completed an unlikely win.
Debutants and league leaders Multan Sultans continued their brilliant run in the PSL with a convincing 19-run win over defending champions Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai on Tuesday evening.
Sohaib Maqsood stole the show with an unbeaten 85 as Multan Sultans posted 183-3 before Mohammad Hafeez’s 56 went in vain.
Here are three takeaways from the match:
Sohaib Maqsood takes charge
Hasn’t had the best of campaigns with an unbeaten 26 his highest score so far this term, but that tally was smashed by some distance. When Kumar Sangakkara was out for just 16, Maqsood used all his experience to take Peshawar Zalmi bowlers apart.
Played a brilliant innings and after finding his rhythm, he didn’t take long to go on the attack. Holding the batting together, he saved his best towards the end of the innings to lead an assault on Peshawar Zalmi. Twice in an over, he smashed two big sixes and a four off Umair Asif before repeating the feat again – this time to Sameen Gul. By the time, the innings ended, his 85 runs came from 42 deliveries (four fours and seven sixes) – just two shy of his highest T20 score.
Liam Dawson proves his worth again
For the second game in a row, the Hampshire all-rounder was impressive with the ball. After taking 3-20 in his first game against Lahore Qalandars on Saturday, the Englishman was again effective in Dubai. While his team-mates were not having much luck, Dawson managed to contain the Sultans batsmen with his left-arm orthodox spin. In his four overs, he made it tough for Sultans with 12 dot balls and conceding just one boundary in his 1-17. Was also handy with the bat, scoring 32 off 17.
Fletcher and Akmal fail to get going
Brought into the team for his first appearance of the season, Andre Fletcher had a frustrating time at the crease. With a huge target to get and without their influential captain Darren Sammy (rested due to doctor’s advice) it was crucial for the opening batsman to get his team off to the perfect start.
But despite hitting a huge six, only faced 11 deliveries before falling in the second over. His partner Kamran Akmal, who had been in good nick with two half-centuries in five matches, followed suit, leaving it all to do for Peshawar batsmen early on in the game. Mohammad Hafeez top-scored with 56 but it was too little too late for Peshawar.
The South African spinner has been a revelation for Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League this season. The 38-year-old entered his team’s match as the top wicket-taker with 10 scalps. Despite Multan going two points clear at the top with a 19-run win over Peshawar Zalmi, he was unable to add to his tally.
Here we analyse his performance at Dubai International Stadium.
Overs bowled: 4
Runs conceded: 31
30-second report and key moments
For the first time in the competition, the Peshawar batsmen got the better of Tahir. Prior to this, he had picked up at least a wicket in each game he played but that wasn’t the case on Tuesday night. Brought in to bowl his first spell in the sixth over, ended with figures of 0-31. Fortunately for him, his team-mates managed to get the wickets with Sohail Tanvir (3-14) and Keiron Pollard (3-37) picking up the scalps.
At a time when Liam Dawson and Mohammad Hafeez were beginning to pile on the runs, Tahir kept his cool in the 16th over, conceding six runs and more importantly not giving up a boundary.
VERDICT: Six. Wasn’t as effective with the ball as he has been but didn’t need to be as his team-mates picked up key scalps. Expect him to showcase why he is the top wicket-taker with 10 scalps to date for the remainder of the tournament.