A last-ball sixer from Quetta Gladiators skipper Sarfraz Ahmed sealed win over Lahore Qalandars on Saturday and stretched their winning streak to four matches.
The Quetta captain, in a difficult run-chase, faced the final ball of the innings, with his side needing 2 to win. Instead of playing it safe, Sarfraz smashed David Wiese’s low full-toss over wide long-on for a maximum.
— Cricingif (@_cricingif) February 23, 2019
After the Gladiators won the toss and opted to field first, the pairing of Fakhar Zaman and Sohail Akhtar openers the innings whereas Sohail Tanvir and Mohammad Nawaz shared the new ball.
Zaman has been in good form in PSL 2019 but he missed out this time, having contributed just three runs. Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt walked in to join Akhtar at the crease.
Akhtar (29 off 21) was once again looking in fine touch, evident by a monstrous six he hit off of Anwar Ali’s delivery that nearly landed on the roof. However, he became the second victim of Ghulam Mudassar’s back-to-back wickets in the sixth over; the first being Butt who had flicked one into the fielder’s hands.
Suddenly, AB de Villiers and Corey Anderson, two of the fastest century makers in ODI history, were in the middle. But the start of their innings was a bit different to their usual whirlwind ways as the priority was to not lose any more wickets.
The duo stabilised the Qalandars ship and guided them to a score of 76-3 at the halfway mark of their innings. However, Wiese could not replicate his heroics of last night, and once he departed, neither of the Qalandars batsman could hang on with De Villiers and provide him the support he needed to truly accelerate in his trademark fashion.
The Proteas legend finished with 45 runs off 40 balls, whereas Lahore posted a total of 143 runs for the loss of seven wickets.
A bulk of the Gladiators’ runs thus far in PSL 2019 had been scored by the trio of Shane Warson, Rilee Rossouw and Umar Akmal. But neither of the trio clicked this time.
The only one to make a meaningful contribution from the top order was the young Ahsan Ali, who made 40 off 29 balls, and was a major factor in Quetta being 70-3 after 10 overs and still being in the game.
After Ahsan and Dwayne Smith both departed in back-to-back overs, the Gladiators’ 100 per cent record seemed under genuine threat but skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and all-rounder Nawaz kept their nerves.
The captain, in particular, was the star of the show, scoring 52 runs off just 36 deliveries, the highlight of which was the aforementioned six off the final ball that got his side home.