PSL 2018, Eliminator 1 Review: Peshawar Zalmi knock out Quetta in a nerve-wracking encounter

PSL 2018, Eliminator 1 Review: Peshawar Zalmi knock out Quetta in a nerve-wracking encounter

It was a heartbreak for the Gladiators, but that's how narrow the win margins are when two sides with such equal tenacities collide.

Chris Jordan
Chris Jordan & other Peshawar Zalmi players. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The PSL action moved to Pakistan on Tuesday and Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators provided a match that would be cherished for a long time. It was a nerve-jangling tie between both these sides and eventually, the defending champions Zalmi managed to sneak through thanks to a narrow 1-run win.

This action-packed encounter began on a somber note for the Zalmi. Rahat Ali was in a mood to destroy the batting lineup and he did so in some style. The young fast bowler dismissed the in-form Kamran Akmal for a duck, pushing Zalmi on the backfoot straight away. Mir Hamza joined the fest and sent Andre Fletcher back into the pavilion, leaving Zalmi tottering at 10/2.

Tamim Iqbal, who flew to Pakistan hours after that heart-breaking defeat to India, managed to hang in for a while. He alongside Mohammad Hafeez added 44 runs for the 3rd wicket, which provided some stability to their innings. But both these players walked back in a span of five balls, handing over the momentum once again to the Gladiators.

Liam Dawson then took charge of the innings and played an invaluable inning. It was power-hitting at its very best from the English cricketer and although the lower-order didn’t give him great support, he managed to churn a lot runs. The likes of Anwar Ali, Thisara Perera, and Mahmudullah got hammered courtesy his exploits.

It was a below-par effort from Peshawar Zalmi’s lower order. But Liam Dawson’s breathtaking 62 off 35 balls helped them register 157 runs before getting bowled out off the final ball of the innings. Rahat Ali was magical towards the death overs, registering figures of 4/16 in his 4 overs.

Anwar Ali’s effort goes in vain

The score posted by Zalmi was just about par, but no would’ve pinned their hopes on defending it for sure. But a certain Hasan Ali lit up the entire Lahore crowd with a spectacular start. He dismissed Asad Shafiq off the very first ball and in his second over, he removed Tom Kohler-Cadmore.

Mohammad Nawaz and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed stitched a very important partnership for the Gladiators. They got some quick runs and also helped their side gain some momentum after that disastrous start. Sarfraz looked in fine nick and kept clobbering boundaries at will. The duo added 63 runs for the third wicket before another twist occurred.

Sameen Gul was handed the ball in the 10th over when he punctured the resilience of both these players off successive deliveries. All of a sudden, they were 4 down with 80 runs on board and two new men at the crease. Rilee Rossouw and Mahmudullah struggled to get going and this saw the required rate creep up acrimoniously.

The bowlers kept tightening the screws and the destination started to move far away from the Gladiators. They needed one gigantic push at this point, which they never got. But when they got, it was a little too late.

Anwar Ali was on strike in the final over with 25 runs to win. He smashed 3 sixes and a boundary off the part-timer Liam Dawson, which meant that the Gladiators needed just 3 off the final ball. In a game filled with such unexpected turnarounds, there was a fitting finish. Anwar Ali smashed the ball to long-on where he got dropped. But he could only churn a single out of that fiasco and Peshawar won the game by one run.

It was a heartbreak for the Gladiators, but that’s how narrow the win margins are when two sides with such equal tenacities collide. Peshawar will next face the Karachi Kings for a place in the final against Islamabad United.

Brief Scores

Peshawar Zalmi: 157 all out in 20 overs (Liam Dawson 62; Rahat Ali 4/16. Thisara Perera 2/24)

Quetta Gladiators: 156/9 in 20 overs (Sarfraz Ahmed 35, Anwar Ali 28*; Hasan Ali 2/21, Sameen Gul 2/21)

Player of the match: Hasan Ali