Quetta Gladiators eased to the top of the Pakistan Super League table following a six-wicket victory over reigning champions Peshawar Zalmi on Saturday.
Here are the key points from the match:
The Australian all-rounder proved once again how effective he can be with the bat and ball. After his man-of-the-match display against Karachi Kings, the 36-year-old was at it again with another solid performance. His picked up 2-26 and played his part on the field by taking the catch of Mohammad Hafeez. He then capped off a fine night with 37 runs, including six boundaries, off 25 deliveries.
PESHAWAR’S BATTING DISAPPOINTS
At one point, Peshawar Zalmi were struggling to reach 130 but Riki Wessels and captain Darren Sammy went after Quetta Gladiators’ bowlers that gave them a respectable total of 157. In the last five overs, the pair scored 56 runs as Sammy keeping the run-rate high with four fours and two sixes in his 19-ball 36.
In the end their efforts went in vain and it was another disappointing batting team performance where four of their top-seven batsmen reached double figures. Standing second bottom with six points, defeat is not an option in their two remaining games.
ROSSOUW AND SARFRAZ FINISH THE JOB
At 84-4 after 10 overs, Peshawar had an opportunity to pile more misery. Instead, they were met by a stubborn partnership that took the game away from them as Sarfraz and Rossouw stitched together an unbeaten 74-run stand.
With three straight victories, last season’s runners-up are beginning to find their form at the right time.
Chirag Suri was happy to have taken the responsibility with the bat in the UAE’s six-wicket victory over the Netherlands in their World Cup Qualifier clash on Thursday.
The 23-year-old batsman frustrated the Dutch bowlers with a solid display in Zimbabwe with an unbeaten 78 as his side chased down 177 with six overs to spare.
Suri was playing in his second straight game after replacing Ashfaq Ahmed in the starting lineup and was pleased to have played a vital match-winning knock.
“When you’re chasing a score of 170 odd, you’ve got time to get in and that’s what I planned to do,” he said. “Initially, I left the balls that were going off-stump and knew I didn’t have to fiddle with those. I was playing the balls within the stump as the ball was skipping up and down.
“It wasn’t an easy wicket. But for me, it was important to go across the line especially after playing so many balls. If you come in and then get out, it’s not going to help the team’s cause and I was really happy to convert the score and take the team over the line.”
It's been a day to remember for @CricketScotland, @westindies, @EmiratesCricket and @CricketHK!— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) March 8, 2018
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He added: “Whenever we lost wickets, we never lost them in patches. In the top three, you need someone to take you through and luckily I was the one.”
Despite his heroic efforts, Suri was denied the man of the match award with captain Rohan Mustafa once again leading from the front. The all-rounder rattled the Dutch batting line-up with figures of 5-26 and Suri had nothing but praise for the skipper.
“He is someone who always likes to attack the stumps,” said Suri, who was bought by Gujarat Lions in last year’s IPL. “He has worked really hard for us and is picking up wickets at a very crucial time for us. It’s not just today, he’s been doing that for a couple of games now. His contribution is invaluable. I hope he keeps that going.”
The result puts the UAE on the verge of reaching the Super Six stage after two wins from three games. Ireland are up next on Tuesday and Suri insists they will not get carried away and focus on each game as it comes.
“We have come here to progress in the tournament. We have always dreamed of a World Cup and this is one step closer. But we have to keep working. But will take it game by game, we don’t want to get too carried away. First there is Ireland and we want to focus on that game.”
The UAE are on the brink of qualifying for the next phase of the World Cup Qualifier after Chirag Suri hit a superb 78 not out to secure a comfortable six-wicket win over the Netherlands in Harare.
Dougie Brown’s men needed to muster a response after Chris Gayle smashed his way to 123 runs from 91 balls – and dragged West Indies to victory – two days prior.
Now they have a win to pair with their opening success over Papua New Guinea as Rohan Mustafa and Suri starred.
Mustafa’s off-spin produced a five-wicket haul for the expense of just 26 runs, but two head-scratching run outs involving Wesley Barresi and Ben Cooper also led to the Netherlands’ downfall.
They could only manage 176 all out – Barresi top-scoring with 37 – but the chase would not have been so straightforward were it not for Suri.
The 23-year-old opener was a calming influence at the crease, with the UAE being reduced to 84-4 at one point.
Indeed there proved nothing to worry about in the end as Suri caressed 78 runs from 126 balls and saw out the chase alongside middle-order batsman Muhammad Usman (36 not out).
The UAE next take on an unbeaten Ireland on Monday though Brown can now afford to look ahead to the Super Sixes phase – which sees the top two teams qualify for next year’s World Cup.