Quetta Gladiators edged out Peshawar Zalmi in an enthralling game by one run in the Qualifier 1 of the Pakistan Super League played at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz fired in consecutive yorkers to help Gladiators eke out a win of nowhere to go through to the finals of Pakistan Super League 2017.Peshawar Zalmi will rue that fact that they had the game in the bag with just seven needed off the last over. Sarfaraz Ahmed as captain of Quetta produced a masterstroke by selecting Nawaz to deliver the final over of the innings.
Peshawar Zalmi won the toss and opted to field first.Ahmed Shehzad produced a rollicking start for Quetta Gladiators as he added 90 runs in 7 overs with Kevin Pietersen to see the side well in hunt to score more than 200 runs in their innings. Shehzad top scored with 71 runs off 38 balls while Pietersen also scored a quick-fire 40 runs to see Gladiators dominate the proceedings for the almost first ten overs of the innings. Peshawar Zalmi clawed their way back as once Pietersen and Shehzad departed runs started to not very easily as Wahab Riaz was spot on at the death overs of the innings.
Quetta Gladiators still managed to post 200 runs in their innings with Peshawar Zalmi having a task ask on their hands to chase down a massive score in a knockout game. Gladiators were impressive with the ball in the first few over of the inning as Zalmi lost Kamran Akmal and Marlon Samuels in a quick succession to be in all sorts of trouble at the end of 5th over. Muhammad Hafeez came to the crease with Dawid Malan and played a superb innings under pressure he led the fightback for Zalmi to put on a partnership of 139 runs to see the side back in contention to win the game.
Hafeez was particularly severe on the spinners as Nawaz conceded 40 runs in his first three overs. Hafeez top scored with 77 runs while Malan chipped with 50 runs. Shahid Afridi came on and went berserk from ball one to push his an inch closer towards historic win. Afridi threw his wicket at a critical juncture to see Zalmi make of mess of it in the last over to fall agonizingly short of a win against Gladiators.
Quetta Gladiators are the first team that has qualified for the finals of the second edition of the league that will be played at Gadhafi Stadium in Lahore. The will face the winner of the clash between Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi that will be played on Friday at Dubai.