Quetta Gladiators beat Peshawar Zalmi by three runs in last-ball thriller

LAHORE: Quetta Gladiators beat Peshawar Zalmi by three runs in a thrilling finish in PSL exhibition match on Sunday in Quetta.

Chasing a total of 185, Mohammad Haris silenced Quetta crowd by hitting Naseem Shah for multiple boundaries in the first over.

Babar Azam also opened his account by hitting Mohammad Hasnain for back to back boundaries in the second over of the innings, Haris continued his aggressive approach as hit Mohammad Nawaz for a six over long off.

There was no stopping Mohammad Haris as he welcomed Naseem back with a hat-trick boundaries. Babar hit Naseem over third for a six to take Zalmi to 60 in 5 overs. Babar was caught behind for 23 on the bowling of Hasnain in last over of powerplay. Shahid Afridi came in next and hit a boundary on his first delivery.

Haris continued to accelerate as he took advantage of Aimal Khan’s inexperience and took 20 runs of his first over. The fast-paced partnership between Haris and Afridi ensured Zalmi raced to 109/1 in just 10 overs.

Nawaz came back in the attack to remove Afridi, who was stumped while trying to hit the left-arm spinner over his head. Haris completed his fifty in just 29 balls, to keep Zalmi’s chase on track. He was ably supported by Saim Ayub, who hit a big six against Nawaz over fine leg.

Quetta turned to Iftikhar and he continued his magic as he dismissed Haris for 53.

Azam came in next and hit Hasnain over his head for a boundary. But Hasnain had the last laugh, as Azam was caught on next ball for 6 by Nawaz.

Iftikhar weaved his magic again as Ayub was caught and bowled for 19. Danish Aziz didn’t hold back from the get go and hit Umaid Asif for back to back boundaries.

But Zalmi kept losing wickets at regular intervals and was left with needing nine runs in the final over by Naseem. Naseem held his nerves and bowled immaculate lines to defend the total to win the match for Quetta.

Earlier, Ahsan Ali, opening alongside Bangalzai, smashed Salman Irshad for a boundary in the first over. Wahab Riaz removed Ahsan for five in the next over as he was caught on the boundary.

Wahab Riaz struck in the same over as he also dismissed Umar Akmal for a duck in the same over.

Local boy Abdul Wahid Bangalzai smashed first six of the match against Irshad in the third over.

Bangalzai continued to attack as he hit Wahab for a boundary towards the leg side.

Sarfaraz was clean bowled by a Yorker from Aamir Jamal.

Iftikhar Ahmed continued his rich vein of form and smashed back to back boundaries against Jamal. Shahid Afridi was welcomed into the attack with a boundary by Iftikhar.

Bangalzai smashed Usama Mir for a six over long off. However, Bangalzai was then stumped for 28 on the bowling off Mir in his second over.

Iftikhar and Khushdil Shah stitched a 51-run partnership, to get Quetta back on track for a competitive total. Khushdil was the agressor among the two, as he smashed two sixes between 11-15 overs.

However, Wahab returned in the 17th over to dismiss Khushdil, who tried to take on the short delivery from left-arm pacer, but was caught at boundary for 36.

Iftikhar was in no mood to stop, as he smashed Jamal for a six over fine leg and followed it with a four.

Iftikhar completed his fifty in 42 balls, and hit a six over long off on the next ball in the second last over of the innings.

The in-form batsman left his special for the last over, as he smacked Wahab Riaz for six sixes in the final over of the innings, to finish at 94 not out from 50 balls.



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