Gladiators beat Qalandars to reach playoffs

Gladiators beat Qalandars to reach playoffs

Quetta Gladiators beat Lahore Qalandars at the National Bank Stadium, Karachi. — PCB   

In a nail-biting clash, Quetta Gladiators on Sunday handed Lahore Qalandars a six-wicket defeat in the 28th fixture of the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) season nine at the National Bank Stadium, Karachi.

With Gladiators winning, Karachi Kings are now out of the race of reaching the final four. Multan Sultans, Peshawar Zalmi, Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators have qualified for the playoffs. 

This is the first time since 2019 that Gladiators have qualified for the final four.

PSL 9: Gladiators beat Qalandars to reach playoffs

Jason Roy and Saud Shakeel initiated the chase with authority. Roy smashed three consecutive fours on the first three balls of Shaheen Afridi’s over.

However, the Qalandars managed to control the Gladiators’ run flow thereafter. Jahandad Khan dismissed Jason Roy (18) in the final over of the powerplay.

Captain Rilee Rossouw also did not look in great touch, scoring only 13 off 11 balls before Jahandad also dismissed him.

Saud remained steady in an anchor role from one end, with Khawaja Nafay joining him from the other.

The run rate kept climbing up with Nafay not finding any flow in his innings. The 22-year-old managed 23-ball 26 before Shaheen trapped him in front for an LBW dismissal.

28 runs were required in the final two overs. Saud and Laurie Evans managed to hit a boundary each to keep 14 runs in the final over.

Shaheen bowled the final over and he dismissed Evans on the back of an impressive catch by Mirza Baig. Saud hit two fours on the third and fourth ball but only managed a single on the fifth.

Wasim Jr had different plans as he smashed with four runs required on the last ball, ending the game in style.

Earlier, Shaheen and Abdullah Shafique scored quick half-centuries, boosting Lahore Qalandars to 166/4 after choosing to bat first.

The defending champions had a cautious start to their innings as in-form opener Sahibzada Farhan stitched a 38-run stand with Tahir Baig before both fell victim to Abrar Ahmed in the sixth over.

Farhan scored 25 off 22 deliveries, hitting four boundaries, while Baig made a scratchy 12 off 13.

Abdullah then formed a dominant partnership with Shai Hope, who managed a mere five off seven deliveries before departing in the 10th over with just 69 runs on the board.

Promoting himself up the order, Shaheen partnered strongly with Abdullah, putting Lahore Qalandars in control.

Their partnership yielded 91 runs off 57 deliveries before Mohammad Amir struck in the final over to dismiss Shaheen.

Qalandars’ skipper smashed two boundaries and four sixes on his way to a 34-ball 55.

Meanwhile, Abdullah carried his bat all the way through and top-scored for the Qalandars with an unbeaten 59. His 39-ball knock featured three boundaries and two sixes.

For the Gladiators, Abrar Ahmed claimed two wickets, while Amir and Mohammad Wasim Jr took one each.

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