Quetta Gladiators qualify for PSL final

Published: March 1, 2017
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History repeated itself as Peshawar Zalmi came so close to victory in the first playoff of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) but Quetta Gladiators once again snatched it from them.

Last year, in the first playoff between the same teams, Aizaz Cheema defended eight runs against Peshawar to send Quetta directly into the final. This time, it was the left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed who held their nerves in the last over.

With seven runs needed off the last over, Peshawar was pushed closer to a victory by captain Darren Sammy’s boundary on the second ball of the last over. He followed it with a single on the third ball and then started what no one would have thought of.

With only two runs needed off three balls, Chris Jordan was caught behind, Wahab Riaz was run out in an attempt to steal a single and then trying to make it back to the crease. On the last ball, with two needed, Hasan Ali was once again cramped for room by a Nawaz fuller delivery. He tried to run for an equaliser but Sarfraz was quick on his feet and collected and dislodged the bails to send his team into the second consecutive PSL final.

Earlier, man-of-the-match Ahmed Shehzad (71 off 38) and Kevin Pietersen (40 off 22) helped Quetta set a mammoth 201-run target for Peshawar.

“I told Nawaz that it’s his time to become a hero,” said winning captain Sarfraz in the post-match presentation ceremony. “All praise to him that he delivered under tough, dewy conditions. I was really tense; there was a lot of pressure, but it’s good to qualify for the second time on the trot for the PSL final.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2017.

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Reader Comments (1)

  • israr
    Mar 1, 2017 - 3:43PM

    “Its time to become hero” that is so true and when it comes off its sweet and it was :)
    I think Sarfaraz is top man in pressure in field, he has to prove as batsman however his innovative batting order changes and marshalling his bowlers and fielders in ground, what sarfaraz now need is to identify batsmen who will make up his perfect batting lineup.

    If we think how he has depended on certain skill sets then i am convinced he is one of those captains who like to finish the game early in the piece as he asked for Anwar Ali twice while chasing one he did other he failed, he also backs his ordinary bowlers to do well under pressure by assuring them his support, Reminds me of IK who would back Ijaz ahmad and play him and so many other ordinary players even inzi when he was failing he felt the boy has got something special, nawaz and anwar ali are proven performers just not been trusted by Afridi and Misbah, ok so thats like no 7 and 8 sorted what about rest of them.
    Ahmad shehzad can open with hafeez ? may be ok babar at 3, Hussain Talat at 4 sarfaraz at 5, Hassaan khan/ imad at 6. three bowlers i hope hasan ali aamir wahab m abbass may be another raw pacer.
    Hassaan Khan/ imad, Nawaz and Hafeez good spinning options.Recommend

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