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PSL 2018, Match 17 Review: Quetta Gladiators stun the table toppers

This win for the Gladiators has intensified the mid-table battle, with only Multan Sultans finding themselves in a good position.

Umar Gul
Umar Gul of Multan Sultans. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After registering a comprehensive win just 24 hours ago, Multan Sultans fell prey to a spirited performance from the Quetta Gladiators. Not many gave them a chance to go all the way, but a few cameos from the middle order towards the end helped them complete a stunning run chase, completely against the run of play.

Sultans lost a wicket off the very first ball of the innings batting first. Kumar Sangakkara was dismissed for a duck and Ahmed Shehzad too walked back in the next over. The hero from yesterday, Sohaib Maqsood failed to deliver the kind of performance he did yesterday, registering an edgy 27 off 33 balls.

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Sohail Tanvir was promoted to bat at number 4 and he added 38 runs for the 3rd wicket with Maqsood. After Tanvir fell in the 7th over, Shoaib Malik walked in and played a gem of a knock. Nothing can get better than the captain leading from the front and that is exactly what happened at the Dubai International Stadium on Wednesday.

Malik started off a little slowly, but eventually, his scoring rate went a notch higher. He reached his half-century soon and built a few brilliant partnerships with Maqsood, Ross Whiteley, and Kieron Pollard. Malik remained unbeaten on 65 off 43 balls, which included 4 fours and 3 sixes. Kieron Pollard hit a few boundaries towards the end and gave them a decent finish.

Sultans registered 152 runs on the board losing 5 wickets. Malik scored the most runs in the innings for the Sultans whilst five bowlers from the Gladiators’ contingent picked up a wicket each. Mohammad Nawaz, Anwar Ali, Rahat Ali, Ben Laughlin, and Watson were amongst the wicket-takers.

Umar Gul’s spell goes in vain

33-year-old veteran Umar Gul returned to cricketing action after a long time. It was a perfect platform to make a comeback as the Sultans were playing amazing cricket and have a decent cushion at the top of the table. Surprising a lot of people, he registered his second-best figures in T20 cricket in this game and showed the world he still has got it.

It was a bits-and-pieces effort from the Gladiators batsmen. Despite not one person failing to score 30 runs individually, they managed to chase the 150-run total down. Initially, Asad Shafiq and Shane Watson gave them a bright start, but once Gul came in, runs dried up. Imran Tahir bowled brilliantly as well, stemming the run flow in the middle overs.

Just when they were in need of some big blows, Rameez Raja provided some fireworks. Rilee Rossouw too joined the party and the required rate just about came down. Despite getting good starts, none of them failed to stick around for a long period, which more often than not costs heavily for the batting side.

But in this case, the Gladiators squeezed past the Sultans by 2 wickets with just 1 ball remaining. Anwar Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, and Hasan Khan hit some big shots towards the final two overs to help their side register a big win against an in-form unit. This win for the Gladiators has intensified the mid-table battle, with only Multan Sultans finding themselves in a good position. Spare a thought for Umar Gul, who registered figures of 6/24, only to watch his side lose the game.

Brief Scores

Multan Sultans: 152/5 in 20 overs (Shoaib Malik 65; Mohammad Nawaz 1/18)

Quetta Gladiators: (Rilee Rossouw 27, Shane Watson 26; Umar Gul 6/24)

Player of the match: Umar Gul

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