Gladiators clinch Play-Offs Place with Shahzad, Shafiq Fifties

With the six-wicket victory over Karachi Kings in yesterday’s match, Quetta Gladiators led by Sarfraz Ahmad became the first team of Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2nd Edition to qualify for Play-Offs. Chasing a target of 155 runs, Quetta Gladiators initiated their innings with a flying start as both the openers Ahmad Shahzad and Asad Shafiq smashed Half-Centuries and posted an opening stand of 105 runs in 12 Overs.

Ahmad Shahzad’s innings included 4 Fours and 3 Sixes to score 54 in 40 deliveries whereas Asad Shafiq scored 51 in 38 deliveries that included a sixer and 6 Fours. But in 13th Over of Sohail Khan, 3 wickets of Ahmad Shahzad, Kevin Pietersen and Asad Shafiq fell. Back to back wickets of three players gave a hope to Kings to turn their match in their favour but the opening stand between Shahzad and Shafiq proved to be too much for Kings to settle down the damage done to them.

Skipper Sarfraz Ahmad along with South African Rilee Rossouw and Bangladeshi Player Mahmudullah stood firm to conclude the match in Gladiators’ favour and chased down the target with 6 balls yet to spare. Sarfraz Ahmad scored 19 in 17 deliveries to complete Quetta’s win with a boundary to Backwards Point off Mohammad Amir. For Karachi Kings, Sohail Khan got two wickets, taking his tournament’s wickets tally to 11 which are the most by any bowler in PSL’s 2nd Edition.

Earlier, when Karachi Kings came out to bat after losing the toss, they were restricted to 154-6 in 20 Overs. It has become the tradition of Quetta Gladiators in this edition to choose to bowl first after winning the toss. Kings’ Openers Kumar Sangakkara and Babar Azam provided Karachi with a worthy start of 63 runs in 7.5 Overs, but after their skipper’s wicket, the momentum slowed down and Karachi Kings couldn’t post a notable total. Sangakkara’s Innings of 28 in 18 Deliveries included 2 sixes and one Four while Babar Azam scored 36 off 37.

Chris Gayle, the highest paid overseas Player in PSL’s Second Edition as well, once again failed to impress with his bat and could only score 29 runs that too in 34 balls. It was Kieron Pollard who scored some quick runs in later halves of the innings by smashing one Six and four Boundaries, scoring 31 in 19 deliveries. For Quetta, Mahmudullah got three wickets to his name, Anwar Ali took two wickets while Mir Hamza got one wicket.

With this win, Quetta has cemented its place for the Play-Offs of Pakistan Super League, while Karachi Kings are badly struggling at the bottom with two more matches remaining and both matches now must be won by Karachi Kings for them to qualify for Play-Offs.

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