Quetta Gladiators open victory box with 6-run win over Karachi Kings

F.P. Report

KARACHI In another nerve-racking match, Quetta Gladiators (QG) staged a 6-run victory over Karachi Kings (KK) despite Shoaib Malik’s determined 71 runs off 49 balls in the sixth contest of the eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) at National Stadium on Saturday night.

QG opened its victory box with this win while leaving a third consecutive defeat for KK.

In the last three death overs, QG snatched the momentum posed by the seventh wicket partnership between Shoaib Malik and Irfan Khan Niazi. KK needed 36 runs in the last three overs but Naseem Shah blocked Malik’s way to hit a boundary in the eighteenth over and Mohmmad Hasnain only gave 7 runs leaving 24 runs for KK in the last over.

Earlier, QG opener Martin Guptill’s thumping 117 runs on 67 balls had helped QG post a total of 168 against Karachi Kings (KK) after the batting side suffered four early blows.Guptill remained top scorer while Iftikhar Ahmad added 32 runs to the scorecard on 27 deliveries. Meanwhile other players failed to register a noticeable knock.

The KK’s bowling side performed exceptionally well until the 17th over when Guptill started accelerating the score with his blistering boundaries. Imad Wasim took three wickets against 16 runs in four overs, Aamir Yamen bundled out two against 37 runs while Andrew Tye remained the most expensive bowler with 55 runs in four overs without a wicket.

Kings had won the toss and elected to bowl first against Gladiators. Both teams are yet to open the tournament with a victory.

QG skipper Sarfraz Ahmad said that he would have opted for field first had he won the toss. “We will try to post a target of 170-180 for KK”, he added.

Kings flew to the field with the inclusion of spinner Imran Tahir (replacing Muhammad Musa) and medium pacer Aamir Yamen after losing two close contests against Peshawar Zalmi and Multan Sultans. In the former game, Zalmi secured a two-run win over KK as the Kings could not chase the target of 200 posted by Zalmi. In the latter, Sultans managed to dupe the hopes of Kings by chasing the target of 174 against a loss of six wickets with ten balls left.

On the other hand, Gladiators could not incept the contest with a win as against Multan Sultans, QG posted a total of 110 which the Sultans chased comfortably in the 14th over with 9 wickets in hand.

However, the team would land the field with Qais Ahmad and Odean Smith replacing Nuwan Thushara today. Meanwhile, QG dropped former Pakistani skipper Mohammad Hafeez for the match. He had been included in the team after Ahsan Ali was ruled out of the team on account of injury.