Peshawar Zalmi won by 4 wickets || Quetta Gladiators vs Peshawar Zalmi, 9th Match || PSL 8.This match was the perfect opportunity for cricket to demonstrate that the sport is a team sport. Mohammad Hasnain, a T20 fast bowler, rarely puts together the kind of performance he did today while losing, but Quetta Gladiators’ lackluster batting ensured that would be his fate. Peshawar Zalmi, on the other hand, did not have a single player who could match Hasnain’s heroics, but enough of their players did enough to subdue Hasnain’s side, beating out an individual fire-breathing rescue act by a slim margin.
The Gladiators needed early wickets to defend 155 to win, especially after Mohammad Haris got Zalmi off to a blistering start in the first two overs. Hasnain did as he was told, cutting him and the young Saim Ayub from his first two deliveries. He then got rid of Tom Kohler-Cadmore in his second round, and it became clear right away that he was the only person standing in the way of a Zalmi canter or a Quetta heist.
Naseem Shah provided solid support, giving up only 19 runs and taking a wicket, but the low score meant that Rovman Powell and James Neesham’s cameo partnership was just about enough. Before Naseem’s perfect yorker brought the Jamaican down, the two put together 46 runs in five overs. Neesham then smashed Qais Ahmed for two fours and a six, leaving his team 21 runs behind.
Hasnain bowled a masterful death over in the 17th over, teasing Wahab Riaz with a maiden, but with Naseem out, the Gladiators simply lacked the ability to defend 19 runs in 18 balls. Zalmi only needed nine more balls to score, and Wahab ended the game with two boundaries against Mohammad Nawaz, who frequently finds himself in similar situations.
When the Gladiators only scored one run in the first two innings and Zalmi continued to dominate the powerplay, it appeared inevitable that they would score below par. Jason Roy looked equally scratchy as he found himself playing down the wrong line to a beautiful Usman Qadir googly, while Martin Guptill was unable to find the explosive.
Zalmi’s best bowler, Qadir, also caught Nawaz in the lead, allowing Gladiators batters to put up the most significant amount of resistance. To ensure that they would post something that could be defended, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Iftikhar Ahmed first consolidated before departing. 17 off Shanaka’s fourteenth over demonstrated the impetus for the late surge, and when Sarfaraz was tidied up for a valuable 39, Iftikhar was totally right at home.
In a recent exhibition match, he had smashed Wahab Riaz for six sixes, and on Monday, he hit a seventh off the first ball he faced from Zalmi’s skipper. Before Iftikhar scored an unbeaten 34-ball fifty to conclude the match, Odean Smith scored three consecutive boundaries off Neesham. As a result, 97 runs were scored in the final seven overs.
Hasnain learned to his cost that his teammates simply had not done enough in a game where he possibly could have done more, and that it was still well below what was feasibly defensible.
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