Quetta Gladiators are on the verge of going out of the equation in the PSL 2021 after losing to Peshawar Zalmi by 61 runs in Dubai.
They are have only themselves to blame.
Five players returning to the hut without bothering the scorers describes Quetta’s night.
Including captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, the Gladiators were sluggish in the pursuit of 198.
The net run-rate kept climbing up and the wickets kept on tumbling from one end.
Quetta managed to reach 136/9 as they were kept on their toes by the Zalmi pace cartel.
Muhammad Irfan and Wahab Riaz kept the Quetta batsmen in check at the start and Umaid Asif did the rest.
The Gladiators are still not out of the tournament, but they need to lift their net run rate by a huge margin and win every game from now.
They also have to pray that Multan Sultans, Karachi Kings and Islamabad United lose lose most of their matches by big margins.
David Miller steps up
David Miller was on fire tonight during his 73 off 46.
The South African star bagged the Man of the Match award for his fiery knock that demoralized Quetta Gladiators in the first innings.
After Kamran Akmal’s half-century, Miller stepped up making up up for the loss of Shoaib Malik and Haider Ali.
In the end, a Rovman Powell cameo (43*) propelled Wahab Riaz’s men to 197/5.
Saim Ayub replaces Faf du Plessis
A nasty collision at the boundary ropes with Muhammad Hasnain was another major blow to Quetta hopes because this meant losing another veteran overseas player after Andre Russell.
Faf du Plessis suffered a concussion and this paved the way for young Saim Ayub to step up in place of the former South African captain.
Ayub looked decent for his 31-ball 35, but the slow pace of his and Usman Khan’s innings gave Quetta the worst possible start while chasing almost 200 runs.
In the end, the run rate was too much to handle for Quetta Gladiators, especially with power hitters like du Plessis and Russell out of the playing XI.
Peshawar Zalmi 197 for 5 (Miller 73, Kamran Akmal 59, Powell 43*, Nawaz 2-33) beat Quetta Gladiators 136 for 9 (Sarfaraz 36*, Ayub 35, Usman 28, Irfan 3-27, Umaid 2-17, Wahab 2-20) by 61 runs.
Match preview: Lahore Qalandars vs Islamabad United
First-placed Lahore Qalandars will play second-ranked Islamabad United on Sunday.
Both teams are in exquisite form ever since the PSL 2021 resumed in Dubai.
The Lahore-Islamabad showdown is bound to feature a nail-biting, high-scoring contest at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Probable Man of the Match
On Friday. United thrashed Quetta Gladiators with 10 wickets as Colin Munro struck an unbeaten 90*.
The New Zealand star did not slog carelessly but played mouth-watering, proper cricketing shots to thump the Gladiators with ease.
He made the contest a one-sided game in a matter of a few overs.
The Kiwi star is in a sublime form and he is likely to feast on the Qalandars’ bowling line-up on Sunday.
The Qalandars are in an ominous touch, winning five of their six contests this season.
They seem like an unstoppable force, but United’s last outing makes them an equally big threat as well.
Lahore have handled nervous moments of the game better than Shadab Khan’s game.
In their last clash, Lahore won the game by wickets. On basis of their last encounter, the Qalandars are likely to outplay United.