DUBAI – Afghanistan’s M Nabi scored a quickfire 30 off 12 balls to help his side Quetta Gladiators chase down a mammoth 201 posted by Lahore Qalandars at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
Gladiators made 203-8 in 20 overs. In response to Qalandars’ first innings total, Gladiators run-chase heavily relied on some power hitting by their opening batsman Bismillah Khan and Kevin Pietersen as they reached 107-3 in just 10 overs.
Quetta-born Bismillah scored 55 runs off 30 balls in an innings which included 10 fours and a six. This was Bismillah’s first outing at the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Bismillah was supported by the England international Pietersen, who scored 34 runs off 21 deliveries hitting six fours. Ahmed Shehzad was the first batsman to depart on four for Gladiators. He was dismissed by Ehsan Adil, whereas wickets of Bismillah and Pietersen were taken by Dwayne Bravo. Earlier, Skipper Azhar Ali, Chris Gayle and Umar Akmal scored half-centuries as Qalandars posted PSL’s highest total. Azhar top scored 61, Gayle 60 and Akmal unbeaten 55 as Qalandars made 201 runs for the lost of two wickets in the 18th PSL match.
Qalandars’ innings relied on a solid 100-run opening stand between skipper Azhar and Gayle in just 10 overs, which provided opportunity for the batsmen coming down the order to aim for a big total. Akmal was joined by Bravo (20) to establish an unbeaten 59-run stand for the third wicket, after Azhar was dismissed in the 16th over.
Gladiators hoped to make a comeback after a claiming a crucial Gayle wicket in the 11th over but couldn’t stop a fiery Akmal from smashing the ball all over the ground as he hit four fours and four sixes in his 25-ball knock. Grant Elliott and Zulfiqar Babar claimed a wicket each for Gladiators after their skipper Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and decided to field first.
Bismillah was named the Man of the Match on his PSL debut. “They gave me a chance and I’m happy for that, the staff gave me a lot of confidence. The cricket is easy, it is the pressure at this level. You handle the pressure well, you’ll be successful,” he said.
CH Gayle c Shehzad b Zulfiqar 60
Azhar Ali c Anwar b Elliott 61
Umar Akmal not out 55
DJ Bravo not out 20
EXTRAS: (w 4, nb 1) 5
TOTAL: (2 wickets; 20 overs) 201
FOW: 1-108, 2-142
BOWLING: Anwar Ali 4-0-57-0, Umar Gul 3-0-26-0, Zulfiqar Babar 4-0-49-1, M Nabi 3-0-34-0, GD Elliott 4-0-26-1, M Nawaz (3) 2-0-9-0.
Bismillah Khan c Rizwan b Bravo 55
Ahmed Shehzad lbw b Ehsan Adil 4
K Pietersen c Umar Akmal b Bravo 34
K Sangakkara b Ehsan Adil 37
Sarfraz Ahmed b Ehsan Adil 21
Anwar Ali c Umar Akmal b Bravo 6
G Elliott c Ehsan Adil b Cooper 3
M Nawaz c Rizwan b Ehsan Adil 0
M Nabi not out 30
Zulfiqar Babar not out 1
EXTRAS: (lb4, w6, nb2) 12
TOTAL: (8 wkts; 20 overs) 203
FOW: 1-28, 2-101, 3-101, 4-162, 5-163, 6-171, 7-172, 8-186
BOWLING: Ehsan Adil 4-0-39-4, Zafar Gohar 1-0-18-0, K Cooper 4-0-37-1, D Bravo 4-0-30-3, C Delport 3-0-37-0, Zohaib Khan 4-0-38-0
FOW: 1-28, 2-101, 3-101
TOSS: Quetta Gladiators
MAN OF MATCH: Bismillah Khan (Quetta)
UMPIRES: Aleem Dar, J Wilson
TV UMPIRE: Shozab Raza (Pakistan)
MATCH REFEREE: RS Mahanama (Sri Lanka)
PSL Point Table
Teams Mat Won Lost Tied N/R Pts Net RR
Gladiators 8 6 2 0 0 12 +0.216
Zalmi 7 5 2 0 0 10 +0.524
United 7 3 4 0 0 6 -0.384
Kings 7 2 5 0 0 4 +0.087
Qalandars 7 2 5 0 0 4 -0.552