More misery for Quetta Gladiators after Lahore Qalandars defeat

Photo: PSL

Quetta Gladiators yet again failed to find the winning formula, as they slumped to another crushing defeat at the National Bank Cricket Area.

Needing 199 to win, they were reduced to 135/8 in their 20 overs against Lahore Qalandars on Tuesday. The suffered a 63-run defeat, which is the second heaviest defeat in Pakistan Super League history.

Captain Shaheen Shah Afridi broke the Gladiators’ back with his fiery spell, bowling some stunning toe-crushing deliveries.

He set up the momentum by removing young Abdulwahid Bangalzai (0), whose disappointing tournament continues.

After early dominance from the Qalandars’ pace attack, Jason Roy broke the shackles by smashing three maximums in Haris Rauf’s first over. He deposited two short-pitched deliveries towards mid-wickets and one on the square leg.

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Eventually, Gladiators reached 49/1 at the end of powerplay. David Wiese broke their 47-run stand after opener Martin Guptill tied to clear the short third-man.

Rashid Khan, who was playing his first game in the tournament, got the huge wicket of Roy on the first delivery of his spell. Roy smashed five maximums and a boundary for 30-ball 48. He missed a straight delivery which crashed into the stumps as Sarfaraz’s men were reduced to 68/3.

Mohammad Hafeez and Iftikhar Ahmed kept the scoreboard ticking for Gladiators. In the 13th over, Wiese provided Qalandars with another breakthrough, as he removed Iftikhar (6) with Quetta needing 106 runs from 42 deliveries.

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Mohammad Nawaz tried a slog-sweep on Sikandar Raza, but only find it in the hands off Kamran Ghulam at the deep mid-wicket.

Hafeez, who was the last hope for the Gladiators, was dismissed by Wiese after scoring 25. Shaheen and Wiese claimed three wickets each for 22 and 23 runs respectively.

Batting first, thanks to Shai Hope’s 47 and cameos from Sikandar Raza and Husain Talat, the defending champions reached 198/6 from their 20 overs.

The West Indies wicketkeeper-batter smashed five boundaries and a maximum for his 32-ball knock.

Mirza Tahir Baig provided a blistering start to Qalandars by smashing Hafeez for 14 runs. He then struck two boundaries to Naseem Shah, who ended up wicketless and conceded 47 runs.

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Fakhar Zaman announced himself by hitting Mohammad Hasnain for a 93 meters six. He also deposited the pacer towards the extra-cover for a boundary.

The Gladiators got their first success in the fifth over when Odean Smith got the better of Fakhar, who scored 22 off 14.

Baig walked back to the hut after scoring 15-ball 31. Talat and Raza finished the inning in style by scoring 26 off 13 balls and 32 off 16 deliveries respectively.

Smith and Qais Ahmed bagged two wickets each for the losing side.