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Sunday April 14, 2024

Quetta beat Islamabad by 3 wickets to stay unbeaten

Skipper Rille Rossouw marched at crease to only see Roy head back to pavilion, leaving Quetta tripped at 51 for 3 in 6.1 overs

By Asher Butt
February 23, 2024
Quetta Gladiators players celebrated the wicket during the Pakistan Super League (PSL 9) Twenty20 cricket match between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium on February 22, 2024. — APP
Quetta Gladiators players celebrated the wicket during the Pakistan Super League (PSL 9) Twenty20 cricket match between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium on February 22, 2024. — APP

LAHORE: Quetta Gladiators squeezed Islamabad United for a three-wicket triumph in the eighth match of the Pakistan Super League 2024 here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday night.

Quetta steered by its bowlers especially Abrar Ahmed and Mohammad Wasim confined Islamabad United to as low as 138 for nine and in their chase took 18.2 overs to acquire 139 for seven with 10 balls to spare.

There is a rest day at Lahore on Friday but Multan Sultans will collide with Peshawar Zalmi in the ninth encounter of season nine at Multan Cricket Stadium in the evening today.

In pursuit of an achievable target, Quetta lost some early wickets. Firstly it was of Saud Shakeel at 17 but the other opener Jason Roy kept the momentum floating. And second was Khawaja Nafay, the hero of the previous match, could muster just nine runs and Quetta were at 49 for two by the sixth over. Despite some hiccups, Quetta overhauled the target with the help of Rilee Rossouw 34 not out, Jason Roy 37, Sherfane Rutherford 29 and Mohammad Amir 11 not out.

Skipper Rille Rossouw marched at the crease to only see Roy head back to the pavilion, leaving Quetta tripped at 51 for three in 6.1 overs. Roy in an 18-ball innings cracked 37 runs, including six fours and a six. Sarfaraz Ahmed was the fourth Quetta batter bowled at 54. Despite the fall of four wickets, the match remained in Quetta’s grasp which even at that point in time maintained above seven per over run-rate.

Rossouw and Sherfane Rutherford, the South African and West Indian pair, first brought 100 runs for Quetta in 14 overs and then surpassed 50 runs for the fifth wicket. They scored 61 runs together before Rutherford (29) was clean bowled by Naseem for his second wicket. As Rutherford faced 23 balls, he timed two sixes and a four to boost his team’s score.

Rossouw was joined in by Akeal Hosein, who announced his entry with a six and later attempting three runs was run out for eight and Quetta languished at 125 for six by 16.3 overs. Mohammad Wasim then came in to join his skipper but was clean bowled by Shadab to reduce Quetta to 127 for seven. The fall of three quick wickets raised hope for Islamabad for a much-need victory but Rossouw joined by Mohammad Amir remained in between their dream to earn Quetta victory. Rossouw remained not out at 34 came in 38 balls while Amir produced 11 runs aided with two fours.

Naseem Shah and Shadab Khan chipped in with two wickets each while Rummas Raees and Hunain Shah got one apiece.

Lacking public interest with just half the stands of the iconic stadium occupied, Abrar and Wasim alongside other bowlers Akeal Hosein and Mohammad Husnain compressed Islamabad United batters to the optimum to only allow them extract to the most 6.9 run rate.

The only valuable contributor from among Islamabad batting lineup was Agha Salman, who produced 23-ball 33 including five boundaries across the rope. Before that Islamabad openers Colin Munro and Alex Hales got 29 runs together. Munro made 20 in 22 deliveries and Hales scored 21 in nine balls with the help of two sixes and a four.

Down the batting order, Jordan Cox (19) and Faheem Ashraf (20) were the only other batters who reached the double figures.

It can be imagined how tight bowling Quetta unleashed from the boundaries Islamabad managed to acquire in their quota of overs. In all, Islamabad hit just four sixes and nine fours.

Abrar finished with the figures of three for 18, Wasim three for 20, Akeal two for 32 and Husnain one for 35.

Earlier, Quetta Gladiators captain Rilee Rossouw had decided to bowl first against Islamabad United in the eighth match of the ninth edition. The Gladiators locked horns against the United with great confidence. The United, on the other hand, were anxious to bounce back following their recent defeat but failed yet again.