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February 23, 2021

Gayle, Sarfraz push Gladiators to 178-6

Sports

February 23, 2021

KARACHI: A century partnership from Chris Gayle and Sarfraz Ahmad enabled Quetta Gladiators to set a target of 179 for Lahore Qalandars in their second round fixture of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 here at National Stadium on Monday night.

Gayle, who survived thrice when on 12, 20 and 31, dazzled with the bat by smacking a superb 68 off 40 balls. He added 101 runs off 68 balls for the third wicket with skipper Sarfraz, who hit 33-ball 40 to help Gladiators post 178-6 in the allotted 20 overs, the highest total of the event so far.

Haris Rauf eventually broke the dangerous partnership when he had Sarfraz held by keeper Ben Dunk. Sarfraz hit five fours.

Leggie Rashid Khan bowled Gayle in the next over to reduce Gladiators to 118-4 in the 15th over. Gayle, who reached his 50 off 32 balls by smacking Rashid for a glorious six towards onside, hammered five sixes and five fours during his entertaining knock.

This was his 86th fifty in T20 cricket in his 413th game. Gayle hit rookie paceman Ahmed Daniyal for two huge sixes. He also smacked David Wiese, Haris and Rashid for one six each.

Daniyal then had Azam Khan for nine-ball 13 with one four before Haris clean bowled Ben Cutting (5) with a superb delivery that uprooted his stumps. Mohammad Nawaz showed his class of being a hard-hitting batsman, scoring a breezy unbeaten 20-ball 33, hammering three sixes and one four that shepherded Quetta to a good total.

Quetta Gladiators received an early blow when Haris Rauf removed Tom Banton (4), held at the deep third man by Ahmed Daniyal. England’s young batsman faced eight balls.

In the next over, Shaheen Afridi got rid of Saim Ayub (3) who offered an easy catch to Sohail Akhtar at mid-on position inside the circle. Saim had been promoted to open the innings. In the previous game, Sarfraz had opened with Banton.