Afghanistan’s Nabi snatches Quetta win from Lahore
Former Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi hit a last ball boundary to help Quetta snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in their last game in the Pakistan Super League in Dubai on Tuesday.
Paceman Ehsan Adil took 4-39 after being hit for five boundaries in one over as Lahore needed to defend 15 in the last over of their must-win seventh game but Nabi hit a four and then a straight six off the second ball after spinner Zohaib Khan bowled the first ball dot.
Nabi then took a single and Zulfiqar Babar brought Nabi back on strike with another single before Nabi smashed a cover boundary to snatch the win.
The win benefit Karachi Kings who meet Peshawar on Wednesday and if they win the match they will join Peshawar, Quetta and Islamabad in the play-offs. Lahore now need to win their last game against Islamabad and hope Karachi lose to Peshawar.
Nabi finished with 12-ball 30 not out with three fours and two sixes.
For Quetta Bismillah Khan knocked 30-ball 55 with ten boundaries and a six to put the chase on the right track.
Chris Gayle run rampage with a 34-ball 60 punctuated with fives sixes and two boundaries while Umar Akmal made a rapid fire 25-ball 55 with four sixes and as many boundaries and skipper Azhar Ali knocked 45-ball 61 with two sixes and seven boundaries after Quetta sent them into bat on a fresh Dubai stadium pitch.
The boundary for this match was pushed back to 65 meters after the first round of Dubai matches failed to produce score runs and that allowed both the teams to smash 15 sixes and 43 fours in the match.
Ahmed Shehzad and Bismillah, playing his first match, gave Gladiators a rapid start of 28 inside two overs with two boundaries each by openers in the first over before Bismillah smashed three boundaries and a six in Zafar Gohar’s second over.
Even Shehzad’s dismissal for four did not stop the flow of runs as Kevin Pietersen smashed the first five balls he faced to the ropes — all off Ehsan Adil after the paceman got a wicket off the first delivery.
Pietersen and Bismillah added 73 for the second wicket in quick time before Dwayne Bravo dismissed them in the same over.
Kumar Sangakkara (37 off 26 balls with four boundaries) and Sarfraz Ahmed (17-ball 21 with two fours) added 61 for the fourth wicket before Adil once again brought Lahore back in the game striking twice to remove the both batsmen.
It was Adil again who got rid of Grant Elliott, catching the New Zealander low at short fine-leg to give Lahore some hopes of a win. Quetta then needed 31 in three overs.