Karachi: Sarfaraz Ahmed-led Quetta Gladiators have won first match of the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) season six over Multan Sultans here at the National Stadium.
Gladiators restricted Sultans to 154 and dismissed them in 19.4 overs. Gladiators have also broken the pattern and are the first side to defend a total this year.
Earlier, Gladiators posted 176/7 in 20 overs courtesy of a brilliant debut by Usman Khan. The right-handed batsman smacked 81 off 50 which included 10 fours and three sixes.
He partnered with Saim Ayub (23 off 18 balls) at the top and post 69. Usman continued to put Sultan bowlers under pressure but his lone battle came to end after he tried to reverse sweep Imran Tahir (2/29). He was given LBW on the last ball of the 14th over.
At the backend, Sultans bowled good lengths and didn’t allow Gladiators’ batters to score freely. Shahnawaz Dahani once again were among the wicket-takers as he picked three for 44 in four overs.
Set to chase 177, Sultans were provided a strong start by openers Mohammad Rizwan and James Vince. The duo added 63 until Afghanistan’s Qais Ahmed with his leg-spin bowling changed the complex of the game.
In his three consecutive overs, he removed Vince (24), Shan Masood (1), Rilee Rossouw (3). Mohammad Nawaz joined the party and bagged the wicket of hard-hitter Sohaib Maqsood (2). He finished with figures of 3/21 in four overs
Rizwan was putting up a lone battle from one end and in the process and posted his third fifty of this year’s PSL.
The run-rate kept creeping as Mohammad Hasnain (2/39) sent back Khushdil Shah and Carlos Braithwaite in the 17th over.
Meanwhile, Zahid Mehmood (2/34) removed Rizwan and Sohail Khan in consecutive deliveries. South Africa’s Dale Steyn finished the proceedings by removing Dahani.