Sarfaraz Ahmed-led Quetta Gladiators triumphed over Imad Wasim-led Karachi Kings by four wickets in the 22nd match of the eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) at the Pindi Cricket Stadium today after the Gladiators failed to chase the 165-run target set for them.
Following his maiden PSL hundred against the Kings in their previous match during this season, Martin Guptill proved to be a real threat to the Kings as he single-handedly won the must-win game for Gladiators by four wickets.
Set to chase 165 runs, Gladiators' batting line once again deteriorated. Youngster Omair Bin Yousuf (8) fell in second over followed by a series of back-to-back dismissals.
Iftikhar Ahmed failed to score once again during this year's PSL as he could only add four runs today.
The Gladiators were 63-5 when Guptill alongside skipper Sarfaraz, who left the field during the first inning after he was hit by the ball on his finger, took charge. The two batters scored 95 runs together with Guptill having the major contribution.
The right-handed batter scored unbeaten 86 runs as Gladiators cruised to a much-needed victory. His powerful knock included nine boundaries and four maximums. Sarfaraz contributed 29 off 25 in his team's victory.
For Kings, who are now out of the tournament, Tabraiz Shamsi took two wickets.
After playing a cameo, Aamer Yamin struck in his first over to give Karachi Kings an early breakthrough while defending 165 runs.
Mohammad Musa also took a wicket to give support to Aamer as they both reduced Gladiators to 2-37 in five overs.
Earlier, wicket-keeper batter Adam Rossington played a match-saving knock for the Kings as they set Gladiators to chase 165 runs in 20 overs.
In a must-win game, the Gladiators opted to field first followed by a perfect start from Naseem Shah. The right-arm pacer bagged dangerous Matthew Wade on the first delivery to ensure a strong start to Quetta Gladiators. Wade edged a pitched-up delivery to walk off for naught.
Young Aimal Khan, who made a comeback, bagged Tayyab Tahir in the fourth over to further dent the Kings.
Rossington remained confident despite his side losing a couple of quick wickets in the powerplay. He scored 40 runs in the power play.
After powerplay, Aimal struck once again, this time he bagged Tayyab Tahir who managed to score just seven.
Meanwhile, Rossington kept on scoring runs. He completed his maiden fifty off 31 balls in the 12th over of the innings. He added 19 more runs to his fifty before falling to Naveen-ul-Haq. His inning was laced with 10 boundaries and a maximum.
Skipper Imad Wasim continued his form and scored 30 runs off 20 balls including three boundaries and a six. However, he got full support from bowling all-rounder Aamer Yamin.
Aamer smashed two maximums and a boundary to score a cameo of 23 off 11. His quick inning helped the Kings post a defendable total.
For Gladiators, Naseem and Aimal took two wickets each while Mohammad Nawaz and Naveen shared a wicket apiece.
Quetta Gladiators: Martin Guptill, Omair Bin Yousuf, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c), Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Umar Akmal, Dwaine Pretorius, Naseem Shah, Umaid Asif, Mohammad Hasnain, Naveen-ul-Haq.
Karachi Kings: Matthew Wade, Adam Rossington, Tayyab Tahir, Qasim Akram, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim (c), James Fuller, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Tabraiz Shamsi, Mohammad Musa
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