Quetta Gladiators have become the first franchise to exit from the PSL 2021 after losing to in-form Multan Sultans by 110 runs at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Wednesday night.
In order to stay alive in the tournament, the Gladiators had to defeat Muhammad Rizwan-led unit by a big margin, but the opposite happened.
Quetta finished at 73/10 in pursuit of 184, the second-lowest score in the league’s history.
This means curtains for Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men who managed to win only twice in nine games so far.
Juggling the overseas stars
One major blunder that the Quetta camp did was not finding the right balance between overseas and local players.
Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has admitted the same issue in the post-game interview that the side was not able to pick right combinations at the right time.
First Andre Russell got sidelined after being hit by a nasty Musa Khan bouncer, then Faf du Plessis flew back to South Africa due to concussion that he sustained following a collision with Muhammad Hasnain.
This paved way for Cameron Delport to become a regular starter but he failed to impress, despite many opportunities.
In fact, Delport’s struggle was quite evident each time he went out to bat.
His string of single digits in this season created a void for the Quetta team.
Shan Masood stands tall
Shan Masood made it clear that he doesn’t want to don the white kit only.
His fiery 73 off 42 earned him the Player of the Match award and helped the Sultans get quick runs in the powerplay after Rizwan’s rare, early departure.
The left-hander, who is well known for being a Test cricketer, was seeing the ball extremely well.
He was the sole fifty scorer between both teams.
Multan Sultans 183 for 5 (Shan Masood 73, Khurram Shahzad 2-26) beat Quetta Gladiators 73 for 10 (Jake Weatheraid 19, Imran Tahir 3-7, Imran Khan 2-13) by 110 runs.
Preview: Karachi Kings vs Lahore Qalandars
Lahore Qalandars will clash against defending champions Karachi Kings in Dubai in the 27th match of the Pakistan Super League 2021.
Probable performers of the day
Shaheen Shah Afridi
Lahore have made the most of Shaheen Shah Afridi’s pacey and swinging opening spells in the tournament so far.
The left-arm pacer has picked 12 in eight games at an economy of 7.12 to dismantle the batting line-ups this season.
He is likely to make the Karachi batsmen struggle on Thursday night.
Babar Azam is in the form of his life.
There’s no question about his ability to cream the ballers all over the park since he has been doing that in the last few PSL seasons with ease.
This season is no different for the Karachi talisman.
Azam averages almost 85 with424 runs in only eight games.
He’s this season’s highest run-getter and highly likely to stand tall against Lahore in the next showdown.
Despite having one of the best top orders (Babar Azam, Sharjeel Khan and Martin Guptill) in world cricket, Karachi Kings have hit a bumpy road on the league’s return in Dubai.
Their bowers have let them down and their form slump will haunt them against Sohail Akhtar’s men as well.
Hence, the third-placed Qalandars are the probable winners against the Kings.