Quetta Gladiators down Multan Sultans by two wickets in thriller

DUBAI: Quetta Gladiators registered a hard-fought two-wicket win over Multan Sultans in the 17th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL)’s third edition in Dubai on Wednesday night. After being put into bat first, Multan managed to score 152 for the loss of five wickets, courtesy captain Shoaib Malik’s brilliant unbeaten 65 off 43 with the help of four fours and three sixes. Quetta’s bowlers kept the batsmen in check for the first 15 overs, Mohammad Nawaz and Rahat Ali in particular hitting their targets to ensure there would be no repeat of the massive total Multan amassed against Peshawar on Tuesday. But 57 were scored off the last five as Quetta, much like Peshawar, lost their discipline and composure towards the death overs. Nawaz, Rahat, Anwar Ali, Shane Watson and Ben Laughlin claimed a wicket each.

In reply, Quetta’s innings began on track before a quick double-strike by Umar Gul removed both openers either side of the 50-run mark. The game remained evenly poised for much of the chase, but the early dismissal of an off-colour Kevin Pietersen was a huge blow for last year’s finalists. Cameos from Rilee Rossouw and Rameez Raja Jnr kept them in the hunt, with Anwar Ali, and at the very end Hasan Khan, sealing the win in a massive heist. Rossouw was the top scorer for the winning side, as he scored 27 off 24. For Multan, pacer Gul was the pick of the bowlers as he claimed best ever figures in a PSL match by claiming six wickets and gave 24 runs in his four overs.

Quetta made three changes to their line-up, replacing Mahmudullah, Umar Amin and John Hastings with Pietersen, Asad Shafiq and Laughlin. Meanwhile, Multan brought in Gul and Ross Whiteley to replace Junaid Khan and Darren Bravo.

Brief scores:

Quetta Gladiators 156 for 8 (Rilee Rossouw 27, Rameez Raja 22, Umar Gul 6-24) beat Multan Sultans 152 for 5 (Shoaib Malik 65 not out, Sohaib Maqsood 27) by two wickets.

 Published in Daily Times, March 9th 2018.