In a dramatic finish, Quetta Gladiators won by one run against Peshawar Zalmi and reached the final of the Pakistan Super League after the end of the first playoff.
Batting heroics by Hafeez, Malan and Afridi failed to push their side towards victory in what was a nail-biting finish at the Sharjah Stadium. This was the second straight one run victory for the Gladiators.
A poor shot by Hasan Ali on the last ball of the innings sealed Zalmi's fate and he was run out by Sarfraz.
Shahid Afridi got busy from the get go and punished the bowlers with long-distance sixes. Afridi's presence on the pitch was troublesome for Zalmi's bowling attack. He was finally caught on a ball by Anwar Ali, ending his onslaught that put 34 on the scoreboard in 13 balls.
Mohammad Hafeez and DJ Malan's 139-run partnership put Peshawar Zalmi on the front foot, covering up earlier losses suffered by the side.
Hafeez's brutal knock of 77 runs off 47 balls and Malan's half-century turned the match around in what could have been a one-sided affair.
His aggressive innings was punctuated by five fours and six sixes till he was finally caught by Saad Nasim on the cover boundary off a ball by Mohammad Nawaz
Zalmi stabilised their innings after a damaging start with Hafeez and Malan maintaining a strong partnership on the pitch.
The partnership stood at 83 runs at the end of the 10th over. Zalmi required 115 runs of 60 balls at the halfway point.
Zalmi faltered and lost two quick wickets, while chasing a daunting 201, at the start of their innings.
Mohammad Hafeez and DJ Malan were at the crease at the end of the 7th over and had crafted a 50-run partnership in five overs.
Opener Kamran Akmal was caught on a ball by Zulfiqar Babar after scoring a single run. His replacement, Samuels, made the same paltry contribution before being run out. A shaky start by the side.
Gladiators made an impressive 200 runs at the end of their innings with Zalmi failing to control the runaway run rate at the start of the game. in the first playoff match in the Pakistan Super League.
Even though the Gladiators lost seven wickets, including Shehzad and Pietersen, the run rate kept steady at nearly 10 per over. Gladiators had starting hitting big from the start and maintained pressure on Zalmi's bowling attack.
Gladiators were in the driving seat after damaging knocks by Ahmad Shehzad and Kevin Pietersen in their match against Peshawar Zalmi in the first playoff match in the Pakistan Super League.
Pietersen knock of 40 further cemented Gladiators control with Zalmi's bowlers failing to pick up regular wickets or slow down the run rate. Gladiators were cruising with a run rate of almost 10 runs per over at the end of the 15th over.
Pietersen was caught by Asghar on a ball by Wahab Riaz.
Gladiators blitzed their way to a score of 121 in the tenth over, helped by Ahmad Shehzad's quickfire 71 in the first playoff match in the Pakistan Super League.
Shehzad punished the bowlers at a regular basis and hit periodic boundaries, which included seven fours and four sixes, till he was finally stopped by Sammy who claimed his wicket. Kevin Pietersen remained steady on the crease and was joined by Rossouw after Shehzad's departure.
The first wicket to fall for the Gladiators was Wright, who scored 12 off seven balls and managed to hit two boundaries before returning to the pavilion. Kevin Pietersen joined Shahzad on on the crease after the fall of the first wicket.
Peshawar Zalmi won the toss and decided to bowl first against Quetta Gladiators.
Luke Wright and Ahmad Shahzad have opened the innings for Gladiators.
The pitch report revealed that the average score batting first is 165-170 runs.
"Looks like a very good wicket. Hopefully we can restrict them to a good total like we have done before," said Zalmi skipper Sammy.
DJG Sammy (capt), DJ Malan, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, MN Samuels, Haris Sohail, Shahid Afridi, CJ Jordan, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Asghar, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Junaid Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, EJG Morgan, Imran Khan (1), Sohaib Maqsood
Sarfraz Ahmed (capt), LJ Wright, Ahmed Shehzad, KP Pietersen, RR Rossouw, Mohammad Nawaz (3), Saad Nasim, Anwar Ali, Hasan Khan, Zulfiqar Babar, TS Mills, Bismillah Khan, Mahmudullah, Umar Amin, NLTC Perera, Umar Gul, Mir Hamza, Asad Shafiq
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