HBL Pakistan Super League: Tim David’s stunning catch completes thrilling victory for Multan Sultans
KARACHI: For the first time in the seventh edition of the HBL Pakistan Super League, a team winning the toss ended up losing the match when Multan Sultans beat Quetta Gladiators by six runs in the most nail-biting encounter of the tournament yet.
The match ended on the penultimate ball of the match with Quetta needing seven off two, when Nasim Shah, arriving at number 10, was caught smartly by Tim David on square-leg off David Willey. The Singaporean tossed the ball up after getting half a hold of it, stepped across the boundary line and then completed the catch and Multan’s third victory in a row.
It wouldn’t have come to this, had it not been a freakish show by all-rounder Iftikhar Ahmed, who launched an onslaught against Imran Khan in the 17th with the Gladiators needing 50 off 24 before that.
The powerful right-hander flicked, pulled and hit straight for three sixes and smashed for a boundary down the ground in the over which saw 24 runs being scored.
However, he fell on the second ball of the next over, when he was caught behind off David Willey with skipper Mohammad Rizwan taking a crucial catch after Iftikhar had added 30 off 13 balls.
The Gladiators must have felt they have lost their last hope, but veteran all-rounder Sohail Tanvir hit a four and six off Shahnawaz Dahani in the next over, which also saw James Faulkner run out for 18 following a mix up.
But Tanvir, too, couldn’t handle the pressure as he got caught at deep square-leg on the second last ball of the match after scoring 13.
The Gladiators got off to a shaky start in their pursuit of 175, with slow left-armer Khushdil Shah sending openers Will Smeed and Ahsan Ali back to the pavilion within the first three overs.
He took an acrobatic diving catch off his own bowling to dismiss Quetta’s man-in-form Will Smeed and then yorked Ahsan, who hit three fours in the previous over, to dislodge the stumps, with Quetta reeling at 30-2.
Ben Duckett, who arrived after Smeed’s departure, took on Shahnawaz Dahani in the last over of the powerplay, which saw Gladiators score 18 runs.
Gladiators captain Sarfraz Ahmed hit his first boundary at the end of the eighth over in signature style when he swept David Willey past square-leg.
Duckett continued to help the Gladiators recove, scoring two consecutive boundaries off Imran Tahir in the ninth over.
The duo reached their 50-run partnership by the tenth over before Duckett sliced Abbas Afridi over point for another boundary.
The breakthrough came for Sultans in the 13th over when Duckett made a mess of a reverse sweep off Imran Tahir to see his leg-stump uprooted and the South African trapping rookie all-rounder Ashir Qureshi lbw on the next ball.
Sarfraz, after sweeping Khushdil for a boundary as he returned to bowl his third over, swept another one, only to find David’s safe hands at deep square-leg, giving Khushdil his third wicket for the day.
Tahir returned to hurt Quetta again and took a catch off his own bowling after Mohammad Nawaz miscued a pull shot. By the end of the over, Quetta were needing 62 to win off 30 balls.
With the bat, it was Shan Masood who shone for the Sultans once again.
The lanky batter, smashed 88 off 58 balls with the help of six fours and four sixes in a classical display after scoring of 83 and 26 in his first two PSL outings this season.
He got the defending champions off the mark with a boundary, effortlessly placing Tanvir’s first delivery past the midwicket boundary before playing a similar shot for the same result off Mohammad Hasnain in the next over.
The Gladiators made their first, and a crucial breakthrough when Multan skipper Mohammad Rizwan miscued one of his strongest shots, the pull, in an attempt to drag a rising delivery by Hasnain from outside the off-stump line. With the ball skied high after taking a heavy top edge, Duckett took an easy catch as Rizwan walked off with nothing.
Hasnain conceded only six runs in his second over before Sohaib broke the pressure, flicking the pacer for his second four on the last ball. The right-hander kept Multan going, powerfully hitting Faulkner for a six over cover in the Australian’s first over.
Shan played more classic strokes, two perfectly-timed ones against Nasim and a reverse sweep against Nawaz before a six over long-on off the spinner.
Sohaib tried to make the most of the rhythm set by Shan, when he tried to clear the midwicket boundary off Faulkner, only to hole it down to Smeed’s throat and departing for 21.
Though Shan looked in good form, Multan could accumulate only 41 runs between the 10th and the 15th overs.
The pressure finally got to the defending champions, when Shan tried to steal a second run off Iftikhar Ahmed in the 16th, but Luke Wood, placed on the long-on boundary, delivered a quick and accurate throw to Iftikhar waiting at the bowling end before he dislodged the stumps to run out Rilee Rossouw (21).
Despite the South African’s departure, Shan hit Iftikhar straight down the ground for sixes on the next two balls.
In the next over, Shan pulled Tanvir for another maximum and then slashed him through the off-side for a four on consecutive balls.
The arriving Tim David joined the party hitting two sixes and a four while also seeing Shan depart in an attempt to clear the leg-side boundary off Hasnain but, along with Khushdil helped Multan to 174-4.
Batsmen & mode of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR
Shan Masood c Iftikhar b Hasnain 88 58 6 4 151.72
Mohammad Rizwan c Duckett b Hasnain 0 2 0 0 0.00
Sohaib Maqsood c Smeed b Faulkner 21 23 2 1 91.30
R. Rossouw run out sub (L. Wood) 21 19 2 0 110.52
T. David not out 28 16 1 2 175.00
Khushdil Shah not out 8 5 0 1 160.00
EXTRAS (LB-2, W-3, NB-3) 8
TOTAL (for four wkts, 20 overs) 174
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-12 (Rizwan), 2-62 (Maqsood), 3-109 (Rossouw), 4-150 (Shan).
DID NOT BAT: D. Willey, Imran Khan, Shahnawaz Dahani, Imran Tahir, Abbas Afridi.
BOWLING: Tanvir 4-0-36-0, Hasnain 4-0-27-2 (2nb), Faulkner 4-0-22-1, Nasim 4-0-42-0 (1nb, 2w), Nawaz 1-0-13-0, Iftikhar 3-0-32-0 (1w).
Batsmen & mode of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR
Ahsan Ali b Khushdil 24 19 3 1 126.31
W.Smeed c&b Khushdil 3 5 0 0 60.00
B. Duckett b Tahir 47 32 6 1 146.87
Sarfraz Ahmed c David b Khushdil 21 23 2 0 91.30
Ashir Qureshi lbw Tahir 0 1 0 0 0.00
Iftikhar Ahmed c Rizwan b Willey 30 13 1 3 230.76
Mohammad Nawaz c&b Tahir 1 2 0 0 50.00
J. Faulkner run out (Shan) 18 12 0 1 150.00
Sohail Tanvir c Rossouw b Willey 13 8 1 1 162.50
Nasim Shah c David b Willey 1 4 0 0 25.00
Mohammad Hasnain not out 0 0 0 0 -
EXTRAS (B-4 LB-1, W-5) 10
TOTAL (all out, 19.5 overs) 168
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-14 (Smeed), 2-29 (Ahsan), 3-97 Duckett), 4-97 (Ashir), 5-105 (Sarfraz), 6-108 (Nawaz), 7-150 (Iftikhar), 8-163 (Faulkner), 9-168 (Tanvir)
BOWLING: Khushdil 4-0-16-3 (3w), Willey 3.5-0-22-3 (1w), Imran 3-0-43-0, Shahnawaz 2-0-33-0, Tahir 4-0-24-3, Abbas 3-0-25-0 (1w).
RESULT: Multan Sultans won by six runs
UMPIRES: Aleem Dar and Ahsan Raza (both Pakistan)
TV UMPIRE: Shozab Raza (Pakistan)
MATCH REFEREE: Mohammad Javed (Pakistan)
Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2022