Teenager Hassaan Khan, veteran Zulfiqar Babar and youngster Mohammad Nawaz shared six wickets between them as Quetta Gladiators shocked Lahore Qalanders in a sensational eight-run win on the second day of the Pakistan Super League match in Dubai on Friday.
On a day marrred by the provisional suspension of Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif on charges of spot fixing, the field was lit by a fighting Quetta unit, so inspired from the high-five by West Indian great Viv Richards from the dug-out, fought tooth and nail.
Khan (2-10), Nawaz (2-19) and Babar (2-31) took wickets at regular intervals to pull off the much needed win.
Defending a low total of 136, Quetta ran into a bashing Jason Roy who hit out from the outset.
Roy was sparkling right from the start as he reverse swept, drove and hoisted every ball with disdain. Roy smashed the second ball from veteran spinner Zulfiqar Babar for four and then lifted him over mid-on for a six. Next over he smashed three boundaries off compatriot Tymal Mills before being disguised by Babar.
But Babar has the last laugh when he bowled the England opener in the thid over. Roy hit five boundaries and a six in his 14-ball knock. Brendon McCullum also two fours and a six in his 11-ball 20 but none of the Lahore batsmen could stay for long, trying to win the match in a whisker.
Lahore’s main hope Umar Akmal fell for four-ball nought. Sunil Narine used his long handle to effectt with three sixes in his 26 but Tymal Mills dismissed him to give a sniff of victory.
Hassaan rapped up the match with Yasir Shah’s wicket as all the support staff with Ricchards in lead ran into the ground to celebrate an unlikely win.
Quetta erred in their selection as they included all their three allrounders in Thissera Perera, Anwar Ali and Mohammad Nawaz, leaving out the experienced Luke Wright which left them to open the innings with Asad Shafiq. They never got the ideal going with wickets tumbling at regular interval.
Ahmed Shahzad (five) and Kevin Pietersen (three off seven balls) were the real casualties. Shafiq scored a snail paced 28-ball 29 but the real savious was Rossouw who hit two sixes and three boundaries to give some respectability to the total.
Emerging players Hassaan Khan briefly threatened to score big with a six and a four but in the end Quetta managed a below-par total.
Mohammad Irfan Junior, Aqib’s find who he described as the “would be bowler of the PSL”, impressed with his wrong-footed action, claiming 3-26.