PSL 8: Raza’s counterattack sees high-flying Qalandars pile additional distress on Gladiators

After a horrific begin to their HBL Pakistan Tremendous League season, all Quetta Gladiators can be wishing for was a sniff. They did get extra than simply that right here on a moist evening on the Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday, just for hosts Lahore Qalandars to grab the match out of their jaws to take it by 17 runs.

The outcome meant the Qalandars consolidated their place on the prime of the standings with 5 wins in six matches whereas the Gladiators discovered themselves underneath the load of their distress on the backside of the factors desk with only one victory in six video games.

After Sikandar Raza pulled the Qalandars out of deep hassle with a blistering present with the bat to present the Gladiators a preventing goal of 149 to chase, the Lahore bowlers triggered a collapse for Sarfraz Ahmed and co after openers Will Smeed and Yasir Khan had given them a good begin.

Smeed punished Shaheen Shah Afridi for pitching one within the slot exterior off-stump twice, driving him by the covers for consecutive fours within the first over. Yasir received his first boundary with a prime edge off Haris Rauf earlier than Smeed added 4 extra.

The openers had been snug towards the Qalandars’ pacers earlier than Yasir was caught behind off Haris on the ultimate ball of the sixth over, with 53-1 on the board for the Gladiators by the tip of the powerplay.

The guests couldn’t discover their means again after that, and their collapse began when Rashid Khan trapped Smeed lbw within the seventh over. After Quetta went two overs with out a boundary, Mohammad Hafeez was run out by David Wiese.

Rashid returned to spin one sharply previous Iftikhar Ahmed to pressure an fringe of the right-hander’s bat within the eleventh over earlier than Martin Guptill discovered Abdullah Shafique on the cow-corner boundary off Wiese.

The subsequent to depart was Odean Smith, who received a prime edge off Haris for wicket-keeper Sam Billings to take a simple catch. With the Quetta outfit additional cramped up for runs, Haris despatched Mohammad Nawaz’s stumps flickering within the penultimate over.

The Gladiators required 25 within the final over, however pacer Zaman Khan restricted them with ease regardless of conceding one six as Sarfraz walked again after a causeless run-a-ball 28-ball 27.

With the pitch providing bounce and motion to the quick bowlers, Qalandars had a poor begin with the bat. They had been reeling at 50-7 at one level — after the Gladiators pacers had run by their batting line-up — earlier than Raza’s counterattacking knock of 71 off 34 balls boosted them to a preventing complete.

The Zimbabwean batter was ably supported by Rashid’s contribution of a 20-ball 21. The duo put up a 69-run partnership off simply 39 balls for the eighth wicket.

The Gladiators went into the match with three modifications, which noticed veteran pacer Umaid Asif and Afghan fast Naveen-ul-Haq make it to the facet for the primary time this season.

Umaid’s first contribution, nonetheless, got here from the sphere when his throw from mid-on ran out Lahore dangerman Fakhar Zaman. The 38-year-old then went on to dismiss Fakhar’s opening accomplice Tahir Baig.

Naveen struck within the subsequent over to get Sam Billings to depart Qalandars in serious trouble at 16-3. The precise-armer then squared Hussain Talat to scrub the southpaw up.

Shaheen promoted himself up the order — apparently as a low-value wicket — and his choice appeared impactful when he drove medium-pacer Smith by the offside for a boundary earlier than getting one other with a sweep off Mohammad Nawaz’s spin.

After Abdullah performed Nawaz onto his stumps, Shaheen ran himself out within the ninth over earlier than Wiese was caught by Nawaz off his personal bowling.

Raza began off his onslaught with a heave to clear the midwicket boundary off Nawaz within the twelfth over earlier than scooping Umaid behind for one more most within the subsequent, which additionally noticed Rashid tackle the veteran pacer for one more six and a boundary.

Raza discovered three extra boundaries off Naveen earlier than Rashid holed Smith out to Iftikhar within the deep within the sixteenth over. The precise-hander introduced up his half-century in 22 balls with a 4 off Naseem Shah within the seventeenth over earlier than the pacer dismissed Haris.

The Gladiators missed a golden probability to run Raza out on the bowling finish within the penultimate over and rued their mistake when he smashed Naveen by the covers for 2 consecutive boundaries and received a six off Umaid within the remaining over.

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