“That's gone up in the air, is this a wicket? Aizaz Cheema's not a great, he's not a great fielder...but catches it! He takes a wicket and it's game on again,” shouted Ramiz Raja like a madman in the commentary box.

Quetta Gladiators were on the brink of pulling a breathtaking victory against Peshawar Zalmi in the first playoff of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in front of a capacity crowd at the Dubai Cricket Stadium on Friday.

The final over of the match began with Zalmi requiring eight to overhaul Quetta's total of 133. Shahid Afridi's side had just lost their big hope Darren Sammy in the previous over after the West Indies all-rounder smacked Quetta's Mohammad Nawaz for 18 runs in the 18th over.

Sammy's presence in the middle had eased the nerves of the Zalmi fans and his late assault pushed the side closer to victory. But his dismissal meant Wahab Riaz stepped up his game and smacked 13 runs off the 19th.

Zalmi were placed at 126/7, requiring 8 off the last over when Cheema came took the ball.

Could he deliver after a torrid opening spell?

The 36-year-old had played 7 Tests, 14 ODIs and 5 T20Is for Pakistan before this moment.

For the local fans, Cheema's was a curious case. He delivered a perfect final over in the 2012 Asia Cup final to give Pakistan a stunning two-run win over Bangladesh.

He was dropped soon after even as Pakistan struggled to find a decent fast bowling combination post the 2010 Mohammad Asif-Mohammad Amir ban.

Cheema was the perfect workhorse with a heavy bouncer and a surprise yorker which compensated for his lack of pace. The understated fast bowler was also the kind of guy who delivered when it mattered the most as former South Africa spinner and PSL commentator Pat Symcox observed.

So when the paceman was handed the ball to deliver the final over, many in the stands and those watching at home had forgotten that Cheema had gifted several free-hits to the opposition and conceded 28 runs from his three fruitless overs earlier in the game.

Cheema steamed in and Wahab swung wildly, only to meet thin air. Five deliveries, still eight required. The dew consumed ball slipped out of the bowler's hand on the second of the over and Wahab smacked the low full toss easily to cow corner.

A single of the next ball reduced the equation to three off three but there was a feeling around the 'ring of fire' that something was about to give.

Cheema hit the deck hard next delivery, and rookie paceman Hassan Ali's attempted pull took the edge and flew high in the air. Cheema ran to his right to where short-mid-wicket would have been positioned and against all odds held onto to a pressure catch.

The next ball was a another skier but this time it was Ahmed Shehzad who positioned himself at point as the Wahab's swipe went into orbit. Shehzad tumbled but reverse-cupped it tightly. Cheema was on a hat-trick and Peshawar required three of the last ball.

The bowler repeated the dose and Mohammad Asghar only managed to hit the ball as far as the bowler.

The Gladiators had charged to a sensational one-run win and as the cameras zoomed in on team mentor Sir Vivian Richards' ecstatic celebrations along with the rest of the squad, Cheema once again walked into the distance, no fuss at all.

The spotlight had instead quickly turned onto his younger teammate Mohammad Nawaz, who was awarded the man of the match.

Cheema, though, had once again enhanced his reputation as the 'last over King', the hero who gets the job done and goes back to being just another man.

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