Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Lahore Qalandars prove to be too hot for Quetta Gladiators

Lahore Qalandars prove to be too hot for Quetta Gladiators
February 22, 2023 Web Desk

KARACHI (92 News) - A sensational all-round performance by Lahore Qalandars downed Quetta Gladiators by 63 runs at the National Bank Cricket Arena on Tuesday night. Lahore Qalandars staged a strong comeback, after losing to Karachi Kings on Sunday night, by first posting a towering 198 for six and then restricting Quetta Gladiators, who lost their second match in as many nights, to 135 for eight.

It was a formidable performance from Lahore Qalandars batters and they had an excellent start - after Quetta Gladiators inserted them – with a 49-run partnership between openers Mirza Tahir Baig (31 off 15) and Fakhar Zaman (22 off 14) off 27 balls. A sparkling partnership of 56 in 37 balls between Kamran Ghulam (21 off 17) and Shai Hope (47 off 32) followed.

Sikandar Raza (32 not out off 16) and Hussain Talat (26 off 13) made the most of the work done by their teammates towards the end and ensured that Lahore Qalandars get to their highest score of the HBL Pakistan Super League 8.

Mohammad Hasnain, who came into this match after bowling splendidly for his three for 12 against Peshawar Zalmi yesterday, had the best economy from his side (eight) in his figures of one for 32. Qais Ahmed and Odean Smith took two wickets each, but gave away 36 and 41, respectively.

With their batting clicking after a forgettable outing two nights ago, there was another silver lining for Lahore Qalandars as Shaheen Afridi, who finished with three for 22, found rhythm and bowled sizzling yorkers in his opening spell. He delivered a scorcher to Abdul Wahid Bangalzai on the third ball of the first over to trap him right in front. The ball swung back into the young right-hander and landed on his foot. He decided to refer the on-field decision of out to the third umpire only to be turned down.

That Zaman Khan was equally impressive from the other end helped Lahore Qalandars. Both fast bowlers had their fair share of LBW shouts as the pair of Jason Roy and Martin Guptill looked perplexed. Roy unleashed himself in the fifth over to smoke Haris Rauf for three sixes – which went down as the most expensive of the innings – and then played a gorgeous lofted drive over deep long off for a six off Zaman in the next over.

Quetta Gladiators might have started to believe, but Rashid Khan, playing his first HBL PSL 8 match, bowled a magical delivery to uproot Roy’s off-stump. At this juncture, Quetta Gladiators were 68 for three at 9.1 overs mark. As the scoreboard pressure mounted, Quetta Gladiators batters lost the plot and fell in quick succession as they slipped to 101 for six from 93 for three.

David Wiese removed Guptill, Mohammad Hafeez (25 off 22) and Iftikhar Ahmed (six off 10) and finished with there for 23. Rashid Khan further cemented his reputation of being a wily customer in T20 cricket and finished with brilliant figures of one for 17 from four overs.

Lahore Qalandars have won two of three matches and this was Quetta Gladiators third loss in four.

Scores in brief:

Lahore Qalandars 198-6, 20 overs (Shai Hope 47, Sikandar Raza 32 not out, Mirza Tahir Baig 31, Hussain Talat 26, Fakhar Zaman 22, Kamran Ghulam 21; Qais Ahmed 2-36, Odean Smith 2-41)

Quetta Gladiators 135-8, 20 overs (Jason Roy 48, Mohammad Hafeez 25; Shaheen Afridi 3-22, David Wiese 3-23)

Player of the match – Shaheen Afridi (Lahore Qalandars)