HBL Pakistan Super League: Shaheen’s Qalandars restore pride with romp over Gladiators

Published February 22, 2023
LAHORE Qalandars’ captain Shaheen Shah Afridi appeals for LBW against Quetta Gladiators’ opener Jason Roy during their HBL Pakistan Super League match at the National Stadium on Tuesday. — AFP
LAHORE Qalandars’ captain Shaheen Shah Afridi appeals for LBW against Quetta Gladiators’ opener Jason Roy during their HBL Pakistan Super League match at the National Stadium on Tuesday. — AFP
Lahore Qalandars’ cricketers celebrate after the dismissal of Quetta Gladiators’ Iftikhar Ahmed (not pictured) during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) T20 cricket match between Lahore Qalandars and Quetta Gladiators at the National Stadium in Karachi on February 21, 2023. — AFP
Lahore Qalandars’ cricketers celebrate after the dismissal of Quetta Gladiators’ Iftikhar Ahmed (not pictured) during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) T20 cricket match between Lahore Qalandars and Quetta Gladiators at the National Stadium in Karachi on February 21, 2023. — AFP

KARACHI: It was about pride for the Lahore Qalandars. For the defending champions’ persona that represents passion and expression, getting battered by Karachi Kings in a box office HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) fixture, was too much to take.

The Qalandars walked into the field marshalled by their captain Shaheen Shah Afridi, whose family watched on from the gallery, with the stands at the National Stadium sparsely filled on a breezy Tuesday evening.

The lanky left-armer would go on to terrorise the Gladiators with his trademark first spell and take three wickets, equalled by Lahore’s fan favourite David Wiese to get their campaign back on track with a 63-run victory, but not before their batters’ joint effort of posting a mammoth 198-6 on the board.

For the Gladiators, it was the third loss in four matches and a moment to revisit the tactics board as they face another PSL season without making it to the playoffs.

Shaheen’s opening spell was a spectacle. The Pakistan pace bowling spearhead, who had been struggling with injuries since last summer was running in with full rhythm, positioning the seam perfectly and hitting the yorker length at will.

To the horror of Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, who was swapped with regular opener Jason Roy, it was the former who had to face Shaheen. All Bangalzai could manage was a clip behind for four before Shaheen struck his pads to draw first blood.

Shaheen was on fire and now it was Roy’s turn to face him in the third over after the right-hander survived an lbw appeal by pacer Zaman Khan in the second. Shaheen steamed in to bowl full length at immense pace throughout the over, striking Roy’s foot twice — the batter falling on his face on one occasion and surviving another review for lbw.

Roy freed his arms for the first time against Haris Rauf. The Englishman played across the line the clear the pacer over midwicket, making it look too easy before pulling for a flat six and hooking for another as Quetta looked to recover from Shaheen’s terror.

Roy, whose numbers at the PSL this year haven’t been great, then cleared his leg to dispatch pacer Zaman Khan for a six over cover and Lahore had to introduce medium pacer Wiese to make the next breakthrough. The South African forced an edge off Martin Guptill’s bat to get the New Zealander cheaply.

But Roy was celebrating the return of his form and punished Wiese’s short ball for another six over the square leg before clearing the infield for his first four. It was Lahore’s Rashid Khan, playing his first PSL match of the season, who sent the dangerman off. The Afghanistan leg-spinner delivered a straighter one that uproo­ted Roy’s off stump to end his innings at 48 off 30.

Mohammad Hafeez — who was playing spectator to Roy’s fireworks from the other end — got into the act just like the latter did against Haris, pulling the fierce pacer for two sixes in the 11th over but soon saw Iftikhar Ahmed hole Wiese out to Fakhar Zaman at long-on.

Lahore missed a chance to make further inroads when they failed to capitalise on a running mix-up between Hafeez and Mohammad Nawaz in the 14th over but made up for it when the latter found Kamran Ghulam at long-on, triggering a batting collapse.

Wiese then went on to take his third wicket as a skier by Hafeez was taken brilliantly by Shaheen, who was also electric in the field.

With Quetta in deep trouble, Shaheen returned to deceive Odean Smith with a slower one before wrapping up the proceedings with tailender Qais Ahmed’s wicket and registering figures of 3-22.

The Lahore batters had an outing to forget against Karachi Kings in their previous match, but this time almost all of them with decent contributions. While Shai Hope had the most runs across his name with 47 off 31, Lahore were provided with a solid foundation by opener Tahir Baig’s early onslaught, as the Player Development Progra­­mme’s find smashed 31 off 16.

Quetta’s tactic to hand the new ball to Hafeez backfired dearly as Tahir took the veteran off-spinner on the attack right from the start, lifting him for a straight six before smashing him past the fence on long-on and fine-leg. Fakhar, who was supposed to be Hafeez’s prey with the spinner’s efficacy against left-handers, opened his boundary account with a square drive off Mohammad Hasnain and saw Tahir crunch Naseem Shah for two more boundaries before launching Hasnain handsomely over long-on for his first six and close the over with a cover drive for another four.

It was all over for him, however, when he edged an attempted slash against Smith to Sarfraz behind the wickets. Tahir (31 off 16) hit an audacious inside-out cover drive for six to welcome Nawaz into the attack but skied the next ball for Guptill to take an easy catch on mid-on, as Lahore went on to post 65-2 by the end of the powerplay.

Hope replaced Tahir on the crease and ensured Lahore did not slow down. After finding his first boundary off Smith in the seventh over, Hope bludgeoned Nawaz to clear long on before smashing the spinner through extra cover. The West Indies One-day International captain showed found edges for two more boundaries off leg-spinner Qais Ahmed and Naseem as Lahore posted 108-2 by the end of 10 overs.

Qais went on to force a stumping to get Kamran Ghulam (21 off 17) in the next over. The incoming Hussain Talat, who took on Qais for a huge six over, cow corner before slicing the spinner for a boundary.

Hope flicked Smith for another four in the next over before skying a bouncer to get caught at deep midwicket. Hussain (26 off 13) kept going on as he found the gap square on the off side for another boundary before falling to Qais.The incoming Sikandar Raza thrashed Naseem for a six before Hasnain cleaned up Wiese. Sikandar targeted Naseem once again in the penultimate over, clearing long-on off the pacer and cutting Hasnain for another four as he returned unbeaten on 28 off 15.

SCOREBOARD

LAHORE QALANDARS:

Batters & modes of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR

Mirza Tahir Baig c Guptill b Nawaz 31 15 4 2 206.66

Fakhar Zaman c Sarfraz b Smith 22 14 3 1 157.14

Kamran Ghulam st Sarfraz b Qais 21 17 2 0 123.52

Shai Hope c Iftikhar b Smith 47 32 5 1 146.87

Hussain Talat c Guptill b Qais 26 13 2 1 200.00

Sikandar Raza not out 32 16 1 2 200.00

David Wiese b Hasnain 1 4 0 0 25.00

Rashid Khan not out 11 10 0 0 110.00

EXTRAS (B-1, LB-1, NB-1, W-4) 7

TOTAL (for six wickets, 20 overs) 198

DID NOT BAT: Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Zaman Khan

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-49 (Zaman), 2-62 (Tahir), 3-118 (Kamran), 4-146 (Hope), 5-156 (Hussain), 6-170 (Wiese)

BOWLING: Hafeez 1-0-14-0, Hasnain 4-0-32-1, Naseem 4-0-47-0 (1w), Smith 4-0-41-2 (1w, 1nb), Nawaz 3-0-26-1, Qais 4-0-36-2

QUETTA GLADIATORS:

Batters & modes of dismissals R B 4s 6s SR

Martin Guptill c Tahir b Wiese 15 18 1 0 83.33

Abdul Bangalzai lbw b Shaheen 0 1 0 0 0.00

Jason Roy b Rashid 48 30 1 5 160.00

Mohammad Hafeez c Shaheen b Wiese 25 22 0 2 113.63

Iftikhar Ahmed c Fakhar b Wiese 6 10 0 0 60.00

Mohammad Nawaz c Kamran b Raza 2 5 0 0 40.00

Odean Smith c Rashid b Shaheen 9 11 0 1 81.81

Sarfraz Ahmed not out 16 14 1 0 114.28

Qais Ahmad c Fakhar b Shaheen 9 7 2 0 128.57

Mohammad Hasnain 1 2 0 0 50.00

EXTRAS (LB-1, W-3) 4

TOTAL (for seven wickets, 20 overs) 135

DID NOT BAT: Naseem Shah

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-5 (Bangalzai), 2-52 (Guptill), 3-68 (Roy), 4-93 (Iftikhar), 5-99 (Nawaz), 6-101 (Hafeez), 7-112 (Smith)

BOWLING: Shaheen 4-0-22-3 (1w), Zaman 3-0-18-0 (1w), Haris 3-0-43-0, Wiese 4-0-23-3, Rashid 4-0-17-1, Raza 1-0-6-1 (1w), Hussain 1-0-5-0

RESULT: Lahore Qalandars won by 63 runs.

Published in Dawn, February 22th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

First steps
Updated 29 May, 2024

First steps

One hopes that this small change will pave the way for bigger things.
Rafah inferno
29 May, 2024

Rafah inferno

THE level of barbarity witnessed in Sunday’s Israeli air strike targeting a refugee camp in Rafah is shocking even...
On a whim
29 May, 2024

On a whim

THE sudden declaration of May 28 as a public holiday to observe Youm-i-Takbeer — the anniversary of Pakistan’s...
Afghan puzzle
Updated 28 May, 2024

Afghan puzzle

Unless these elements are neutralised, it will not be possible to have the upper hand over terrorist groups.
Attacking minorities
28 May, 2024

Attacking minorities

Mobs turn into executioners due to the authorities’ helplessness before these elements.
Persistent scourge
Updated 29 May, 2024

Persistent scourge

THE challenge of polio in Pakistan has reached a new nadir, drawing grave concerns from the Technical Advisory Group...