Quetta Gladiators had their moments. They fought to win battles, but the war went to Peshawar Zalmi’s name at the end in their HBL Pakistan Super League match at Karachi’s National Stadium on Monday.

Coming into the match after beating Karachi Kings previously, Quetta had managed to post a competitive target of 155 against Peshawar Zalmi — reeling from their forgettable defeat against Multan Sultans.

But after Quetta pacer Mohammad Hasnain had struck twice on consecutive balls to cancel out Mohammad Haris’ early onslaught, Peshawar ensured they never stopped attacking.

Thanks to a 46-run partnership off 30 balls between Jimmy Neesham and Rovman Powell, which set the team up for an eventual four-wicket victory before Wahab Riaz and Dasun Shanaka saw off two brilliant overs by Hasnain and his pace partner Naseem Shah to cross the finish line.

Peshawar’s chase was boosted by Haris’ blistering show early on before Hasnain arrived to hurt them.

The opener crunched Shah through extra cover for hai first boundary before flicking aside spinner Mohammad Nawaz for three consecutive fours in the next over, which also saw Babar Azam open his boundary account.

But with Hasnain introduced in the next over, Haris (18 off 9) became the paper’s first victim, miscuing another big hit before the right-armer trapped Saim Ayub.

Hasnain wouldn’t have enjoyed how he concluded what could have been a perfect over, conceding two boundaries against Tom Kohler-Cadmore, but returned to take the Englishman’s wicket in the fifth over, with Shah taking a decent catch at the third man boundary.

By the end of the powerplay, Peshawar were cruising at 53-3.

Powell lifted Shah for a straight four before clearing long on against Qais Ahmed. Azam threatened to add to Quetta’s struggles with a sweep off Nawaz on the first ball of the eighth over but was adjudged lbw after a review on the next ball that came straighter with the arm.

The incoming Neesham ensured Nawaz hardly got any value for the wicket, reverse sweeping for a four before a half-hearted fielding effort by Abdul Wahid Bangalzai at long-on.

Peshawar brought up their 100 in the 12th over as Powell hammered Odean Smith through the covers for four. The right-hander rubbed salt in Quetta’s wounds with a huge six three balls later.

But Shah wasn’t ready to let the match completely slip off his team’s grip. He shattered Powell’s (36 off 23) stumps with a yorker that clocked 141kph.

Shah (38 off 23), however, kept going and dragged the match almost decisively into Peshawar’s favour with a six and two fours off Qais in the 15th over just before finding Nawaz at deep wicket to depart for 37 off 23.

Shah and Hasnain, who were key in Quetta’s win against Karachi, were at it again. After Shah conceded only two runs in the next over, his pace partner bowled a brilliant maiden.

With the duo’s quota of overs exhausted, and just 19 runs remaining to win for Peshawar in 18 balls, Nawaz and Smith leaked three more fours to wrap up the proceedings.

Earlier, Quetta struggled to play strokes freely and were reeling at 28-1 by the end of the powerplay, with opener Martin Guptill, who hit a century in his previous outing, falling to Neesham, a ball before his partner Jason Roy was cleaned up by a straighter one by leg-spinner.

Usman struck again two overs later, this time trapping Mohammad Nawaz lbw, leaving Quetta in deep trouble and by the halfway stage Quetta were 42-3.

The team required a 75-run partnership off 50 between captain Sarfraz Ahmed and Iftikhar Ahmed to enable themselves to a competitive score.

Sarfraz managed only five boundaries in his 30-ball knock for 35 before he was bamboozled by a yorker from pacer Arshad Iqbal.

Iftikhar, on the other hand, was more explosive.

His six sixes in the recent exhibition match between two sides in Quetta must be on Riaz’s mind when the powerful right-hander heaved the veteran pacer for his second six over square leg as the crowd chanted “Chacha, Chacha”, referring to Iftikhar’s popular nickname.

After the 100 was up for the side on the first ball of the 16th over, Iftikhar flicked Iqbal off his hips for a four before dispatching the right-armer over long on for another six.

The incoming Odean Smith was dropped by Shanaka at square leg off Neesham. The West Indies batter celebrated with three consecutive fours in the same over

Iftikhar brought up his 50 off 33 balls with a single off Iqbal in the last over. Smith, lifted a low full toss that flew like a bullet past the long on fence, bringing up the 150 for Quetta before finding a four past short fine leg to finish the innings, returning unbeaten at 25 off 12.

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