NewsSaud Shakeel and bowlers help Quetta get off to winning start in HBL PSL 9

Saud Shakeel and bowlers help Quetta get off to winning start in HBL PSL 9

Lahore, 18 February 2024: Quetta Gladiators started their HBL PSL 9 campaign on a winning note, beating Peshawar Zalmi by 16 runs after a hard-fought and high-scoring contest at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Sunday afternoon.

The second match of the day will be played between Multan Sultans and Karachi Kings at Multan Cricket Stadium. The first ball is expected to be bowled at 7pm.

Chasing a mammoth total of 207, Saim Ayub and Babar Azam provided a solid start to Peshawar Zalmi. Saim clubbed Akeal Hosein for the first six of Zalmi’s innings in the second over. In the following over, Babar hit Mohammad Amir for a sumptuous straight drive. Mohammad Hasnain was welcomed with six over long off by Saim on the first ball of the fourth over. Babar stamped his authority against Mohammad Wasim Jnr in the fifth over as he struck him for two magnificent sixes.

The duo amassed 70 off the powerplay. The 91-run opening partnership came to an end as Rossouw ran out Saim (42, 26b, 2x4s, 3x6s). Hosein struck to remove Mohammad Haris (7, 6b, 1×4) in the 11th over. Tom Kohler-Cadmore (18, 18b, 1×6) and Babar put on a 39-run third-wicket partnership before Babar fell to Abrar Ahmed on the first ball of the 16th over scoring 68 off 42 balls with four boundaries and as many maximums. Babar also became the first-ever batter to score 3000 runs in the HBL PSL history.

Two balls later, Abrar struck again to dismiss Kohler-Cadmore leaving Zalmi 150-4. Dan Mousely joined Rovman Powell in the middle with 57 runs required off 26 balls. Mousley managed to hit Mohammad Amir for a much-needed maximum over deep backward square on the last ball of the 17th over.

Amir returned in the 19th over to dismiss a dangerous Powell, bringing an end to his cameo of 17 from nine balls leaving Zalmi in dire straits. He bowled the penultimate over for just six runs. Zalmi required 25 runs off the last over but Wasim Jnr only gave away eight runs while eking out the scalp of Mousley.

Returning to competitive cricket after an injury, Abrar bowled a tight spell giving away 29 runs and bagging two prized scalps. Amir, Hosein and Hasnain bagged one wicket each.

Earlier, after being put into bat by Peshawar Zalmi, the Quetta Gladiators got off to a breezy start. Saud Shakeel, making his HBL PSL debut, accompanied by the experienced Jason Roy came out all guns blazing. Saud hit the first ball of the match for a four towards the mid-wicket setting a positive tone for the innings. The duo amassed 18 runs off the first over of Aamir Jamal’s spell while completing the fifty-run opening partnership in 4.4 overs.

By the end of the powerplay, Quetta had raced to 70 for no loss. At the halfway mark, Saud and Roy brought up hundred-run partnership.

Roy reached his fifty in the 11th over, off 29 balls after he smashed Mousley for a maximum over deep midwicket. He also completed 1000 runs in his HBL PSL career. Saud too followed suit and brought up his maiden HBL PSL fifty off 36 balls in the next over. The duo went berserk in the 14th over of the innings as they notched 20 runs off Saim’s bowling, with Saud clubbing two sixes and Roy chipping in with one maximum that was hit over the bowler’s head.

Luke Wood drew the first blood for Zalmi in the 16th over as Saud (74, 47b, 6x4s, 4x6s) skied one to mid-on where Babar took a brilliant running catch. The opening stand of 157 between Roy and Saud is the joint third-highest partnership for any wicket in the HBL PSL and the highest for Quetta Gladiators. Skipper Rilee Rossouw, walking in to bat number three, got off the mark with six over midwicket. A ball later he belted a four down the ground.

Rossouw’s (14, 7b, 1x4s, 1×6) stay on the crease was cut short by tall Mohammad Zeeshan, making his HBL PSL debut as well, who managed to crash a full-pitched slower ball into his stumps.  Salman Irshad brought an end to Roy’s innings as he was caught at mid-wicket after scoring 75 off 48 balls laced with nine boundaries and two sixes.

Salman bagged two more wickets in the last over of the innings as he dismissed Sherfane Rutherford (20, 13b, 3x4s) and Mohammad Wasim Jnr (4, 2b, 1×4) in a space of three balls. Quetta crossed the 200-run mark for the first time in this edition of the HBL PSL posting a 206-5 in their 20 overs.

For Peshawar, Salman returned with three scalps while Wood and Zeeshan grabbing a wicket each.

Scores in brief:

Quetta Gladiators beat Peshawar Zalmi by 16 runs

Quetta Gladiators 206-5, 20 overs (Jason Roy 75, Saud Shakeel 74; Salman Irshad 3-38)

Peshawar Zalmi 190-6, 20 overs (Babar Azam 68, Saim Ayub 42; Abrar Ahmed 2-29, Mohammad Amir 1-29)

Player of the match – Saud Shakeel (Quetta Gladiators)

Tomorrow’s fixture: Lahore Qalandars vs Quetta Gladiators, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore (7pm)

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