LAHORE: Defending champions Peshawar Zalmi have qualified for the second eliminator against Karachi Kings after defeating Quetta Gladiators by one run in a nail-biting last-ball thriller at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday.
Quetta, chasing 158 for victory, needed 25 in the last over. In a dramatic turn of events, all-rounder Anwar Ali smashed three sixes and one four to alter the 158-run chase to three runs off one ball.
But a run-out on the last delivery saw Peshawar Zalmi knocking Quetta Gladiators out of the tournament.
Peshawar Zalmi notched up 157 all out in 20 overs with former England allrounder Liam Dawson scoring a 35-ball 62 with six boundaries and four sixes. Quetta paceman Rahat Ali took 4-16.
Peshawar’s pace attack of Hasan Ali (2-21), Sameen Gul (2-21), Wahab Riaz (2-26) and Umaid Asif (2-26) destroyed Quetta for whom Sarfraz Ahmed and Mohammad Nawaz made 35 each.
Hasan Ali was given the Man of the Match award for his 2-21.
Speaking in the post-match ceremony, Gladiators’ skipper Sarfraz Ahmed said the team lost a winnable game.
“The match was in our hands, and I feel we lost the game because of our own errors. Nawaz and I shouldn’t have been dismissed that time,” he said.
“If we were sensible, we could’ve even taken it to the super over, but the pressure got the better of the boys in the end,” said the Pakistan skipper.
Gladiators suffered a series of setbacks in their 158-run chase as Umaid Asif removed both Mahmudullah and Rilee Rossouw within a single over. Fast bowler Wahab Riaz took the wickets of Thisara Perera and Hassan Khan on scores of 12 and O respectively.
Gladiators had a nightmarish start as they lost both openers early, after a gutsy 62 off 35 balls by Liam Dawson lifted Peshawar Zalmi to a competitive total of 157.
Hasan Ali had Asad Shafiq out on first ball.
A pumped-up Hasan Ali removed Tom Kohler-Cadmore in his second over, leaving Quetta looking shaky at 17-2.
Just as a batting collapse looked unavoidable, skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz anchored Quetta’s inning. Their resistance, however, was ended in a dramatic fashion by pacer Sameen, who brought Peshawar back into the game with two wickets in two balls (Sarfraz 35 off 21, Nawaz 35 off 32) in the 10th over.
Just as Quetta appeared to bounce back with Mahmudullah and Rossouw on the crease, Umaid Asif delivered a potentially match-changing over to dismiss both the batsmen within the space of three balls.
Wahab Riaz cleaned up the lower order, taking the crucial wickets of Thisara Perera (12) and Hassan Khan (0) to take Peshawar to the brink of victory.
1st inning: Rahat’s four-for; Dawson’s 62
Peshawar had a wobbly start, losing in-form Kamran Akmal for a three-ball duck to Rahat Ali, after Quetta opted to bowl first in swinging conditions.
West Indian Andre Fletcher was dismissed soon after for 1, by Mir Hamza. But Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Hafeez led Peshawar’s recovery, taking the team past 50 without any further loss before Hafeez was bowled by Mahmudullah for 25 off 14.
Peshawar were sent reeling when Tamim dashed down the pitch, only to be caught by a fumbling Kohler-Cadmore in the deep for 27 off 29.
Perera took the night’s second great catch to send Saad Nasim back to the dugout for 9 off 13, as Peshawar struggled at 86-5.
Dawson’s resistance, however, steadied Peshawar, as he smashed 50 off just 29 balls to end Quetta’s dominance in the game.
Skipper Sammy, who walked out to bat to a standing ovation from the crowd, struggled to score, falling to Rahat Ali for 2 off 5 balls.
Two balls later, Rahat Ali dismissed Dawson, finishing with 4 wickets from 16 runs. Perera took 2 wickets in return for 24 runs.
Mohammad Nawaz, Mir Hamza, Hassan Khan, and Mahmudullah took one wicket each.
Despite some light rain, fans were undeterred in their determination to watch the match at the Gaddafi Stadium.
The match marks the return of PSL action to Lahore after the historic city successfully hosted last year’s final in front of a roaring crowd of thousands.
Peshawar will now take on Karachi Kings in the second eliminator in Lahore on Wednesday and the winner of that match will face Islamabad United in the final in Karachi on Sunday.