Quetta Gladiators powered to their second straight win following a 67-run triumph over Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League on Thursday.
Batting first in Dubai, opening batsman Shane Watson cracked an unbeaten 90 off just 58 balls while Kevin Pietersen, playing in his final competitive tournament, hit a 34-ball 52 as Quetta made 180-4.
In reply, Karachi were pegged back in the first two overs itself as they were reduced to 2-2. The result was a mere formality after that as they were restricted to 113-8.
Here we take a look at the talking points from Thursday’s match.
The conditions in the third edition of the PSL have not been conducive for batting, with just one score above 180 before the start of the match. But the experience of Watson and Pietersen overcame those obstacles as the two stitched together an 86-run stand for the second wicket. Keeping Mohammad Amir (1-29) and Usman Khan (1-22) at bay, the duo attacked other bowlers to put Quetta on track for a big total.
AFRIDI EXPERIMENT FAILS
Star all-rounder Shahid Afridi was declared fit after recovering from a knee niggle. In the chase, he opened the innings hoping to give Karachi a quick start in pursuit of a stiff target. However, the man they affectionately call ‘Lala’ went after the bowlers from the first ball without getting his eye in and returned to the pavilion after scoring a six-ball one, slicing left-arm quick Rahat Ali to mid off.
NAWAZ APPLIES THE BRAKES UP FRONT
Karachi openers Joe Denly and Afridi had no option but to target left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz who opened the bowling for Quetta. However, Nawaz extracted enough turn to beat the bat of both openers, getting Denly stumped off the last ball of the first over. His three overs for just 11 runs up front pretty much ended the contest.
Kevin Pietersen will be bidding farewell to his 21-year career at the end of the on-going Pakistan Super League in the UAE.
The 37-year-old has certainly been one of the sport’s best batsmen, representing England over all formats before playing in some of the major T20 leagues around the world.
Here, we analyse his performance during the match against Multan Sultans’ two-wicket defeat to Quetta Gladiators.
30-SECOND REPORT AND KEY MOMENTS
Another disappointing performance from the former England batsman. Had notched 6, 48 and 5 in his previous three knocks for last season’s runners-up and his poor form continued against Multan Sultans with just five runs scored. As an experienced member of the squad, his team would have expected a big total from the batsman but he didn’t last long enough at the crease to make an impact.
It’s difficult to find what Pietersen could take as a positive from such as short stay on the wicket.
Should have reviewed the DRS decision when given LBW by Shoaib Malik for his reverse sweep shot. TV replays had shown the Pakistani all-rounder had overstepped the line, yet Pietersen didn’t review.
Three. With performances like this, it’s easy to see why Pietersen is calling it quits after this year’s PSL. Apart from a 48, he has struggled in the game and at a time when his team needed him, he failed to deliver.
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.