PSL 2018, Match 19 Review: Watson and Pietersen power Quetta Gladiators to big win

PSL 2018, Match 19 Review: Watson and Pietersen power Quetta Gladiators to big win

Despite registering such a big victory, the Gladiators are 5th on the table. 

Shane Watson & Kevin Pietersen
Shane Watson & Kevin Pietersen. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Banking on two wonderful innings from veteran cricketers, Quetta Gladiators registered the biggest victory this season in terms of runs. This victory for them leaves the table open to all the teams except the Lahore Qalandars, who’ve slumped to new lows in the League history. Despite registering such a big victory, the Gladiators are 5th on the table.

Batting first, Asad Shafiq and Shane Watson gave Quetta the ideal start. Watson went all-out in the bowlers whilst Shafiq resisted his temptation. The ball was coming nicely on to the bat and Watson left no stone unturned. The duo added 60 runs for the opening wicket before Afridi picked up the first wicket of Shafiq.

Watson was joined by former English cricketer Kevin Pietersen and the duo pounced hard on the bowlers. Some experienced T20 players like David Wiese and Mohammad Irfan too were taken for plenty thanks to both these senior foreign players.  Watson and Pietersen clobbered the opposition a lot of times during their prime days but watching them perform like this just reminisced fans of the good old days.

Watson got a 50 in the 11th over with a single towards mid-wicket. His onslaught continued and Pietersen too joined the party. After starting off a little slowly, KP took full control of the next few overs and completed his fifty. Their partnership of 86 runs in 58 balls came to an end with Pietersen getting dismissed in the 17th over.

They lost two more wickets in quick succession, but Watson ensured they got a decent finish. He remained unbeaten on 90 off 58 balls, which included 5 fours and 7 sixes. The Gladiators finished at 180 for the loss of 4 wickets and posed a strong challenge for the Kings.

A below-par performance from the Kings

Despite having some big names in the lineup, the Karachi Kings faltered very badly with the bat. Joe Denly and Shahid Afridi were made to open the innings, a move which didn’t prove to be a fruitful one. Denly was dismissed in the first over and 3 balls later, Afridi was gone. They were struggling at 2/2 in 2 overs at a point.

Just before the Powerplay ended, they lost another wicket and Colin Ingram was the man walking back. Bopara, who had a decent season thus far, was dismissed for a duck and the Kings were down and out at 33/4 in 6.2 overs. Babar Azam tried to stick around at one end, but watching wickets tumble at the other end didn’t help his cause.

After he was dismissed in the 10th over, skipper Imad Wasim and Mohammad Rizwan ensured they got beyond the 100-run mark with a decent partnership for the 6th wicket. It was all immaterial as the required run rate had crept up astronomically by that point, leaving Imad Wasim with no other option but to avoid humiliation at the best.

The Gladiators’ fast bowlers did a magnificent job, bowling economically and picking up wickets at crucial intervals. The Kings could manage just 113 runs for the loss of 8 wickets, with Rahat Ali and Anwar Ali chipping in with a couple of wickets each. Ben Laughlin and Mohammad Nawaz did an outstanding job as well.

Brief Scores

Quetta Gladiators: 180/4 in 20 overs (Shane Watson 90, Kevin Pietersen 52; Usman Khan 1/22)

Karachi Kings: 113/8 in 20 overs (Imad Wasim 35, Babar Azam 32; Rahat Ali 2/29, Anwar Ali 2/21)

Player of the match: Shane Watson