Quetta Gladiators, led by wicket keeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed, restricted Islamabad United to mediocre 128 for seven wickets in the inaugural match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) Twenty20 tournament here at the Dubai International Stadium late on Thursday.
Skipper Misbahul Haq and Andre Russell tried to resurrect the disappointing innings of Islamabad after they were reduced to 63 for six in the 15th over. Misbah however trapped by a slow bouncer by Anwar Ali in the penultimate over after scoring 41 in 28 balls. Russell remained not out on 35 off 20 balls.
Rookie bowler Mohammad Nawaz took four wickets for only 13 runs in his quota of 4 overs. Anwar Ali, Zulfiqar Babar and Umar Gul shared a wicket each for the Gladiators.
Quetta Gladiators were in comfortable position as its openers started the chase of 128 runs. The opening batsmen hammered Islamabad United attack in the initial overs. Till the filing of this report, Quetta Gladiators had scored 86 at the conclusion of 10 overs.
Earlier, Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and invited Islamabad United skipper Misbah-ul-Haq to bat first.
The two sides have a strong domestic contingent. As many as eight players from the set-up have played for Pakistan.
Speaking at the toss Sarfraz said, “There is the dew factor, batting will be easier later. We want to field. Wright, KP, Chigumbura, Nabi are our overseas players”.
Misbah on the occasion said: “It is all about posting a good total. We have four seamers. Shane Watson is batting well. He scored a hundred against India. It is a good balance. The opening ceremony was really wonderful”.
Quetta Gladiators: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), KP Pietersen, LJ Wright, E Chigumbura, Ahmed Shehzad, Anwar Ali, Umar Gul, Zulfiqar Babar,Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Nabi, Akbar-ur-Rehman
Islamabad United: Shane Watson, Sharjeel Khan, Umar Amin, Babar Azam, SW Billings, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), AD Russell, S Badree, Mohammad Irfan, Rumman Raees
The match is followed by an impressive show of light, colour and music in which renowned Pakistani and international superstars including Ali Zafar, Sean Paul, Mohib Mirza and Sanam Saeed performed.
There are five franchises partaking in the cricket league named after each provincial capital and the federal capital of Pakistan. The Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars, Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United will compete with each other to lift the trophy.
The top two teams will play the first qualifier, while the loser of the 1st qualifier and winner of the 2nd playoff will meet in playoff. Winners of play off 1 and 3 will meet in the final. There will be a total of twenty-four matches (day/night) in the tournament. Fifteen Matches, including all three play offs and final will be played at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
The other nine fixtures will take place at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Inaugural edition kicks off with glitzy opening ceremony:
Spectacular light shows and pyrotechnics ruled the night as the inaugural season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) kicked off with a glitzy opening ceremony held at the Dubai Sports City Stadium.
The players from the five teams from Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Karachi and Lahore strode out to the stadium in limos to the tune of their teams’ anthems.
As the presenters introduced the teams and the captains, the loudest cheer of the night was reserved for Pakistan T20 captain, Shahid Afridi.
The ceremony was highlighted by performances from Pakistani stars Mohib Mirza and Sanam Saeed followed by famous musician Sean Paul and Pakistan’s very own ‘rockstar’ Ali Zafar.
Sean who hails from Jamaica, was also joined by West Indian cricketers Chris Gayle, Darren Sammy and Jason Holder on the stage as the cricketers entertained the crowd with their other talents.