PSL 2024: Quetta Gladiators overpower Islamabad United despite late scare to register third win

Published February 22, 2024
The Quetta Gladiators in their match against Islamabad United in Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday. — Quetta Gladiators X
The Quetta Gladiators in their match against Islamabad United in Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday. — Quetta Gladiators X

The Quetta Gladiators beat Islamabad United on Thursday by three wickets after a late scare in their chase of 139 at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium, courtesy of handy contributions with the bat from their skipper Rilee Rossouw, Sherfane Rutherford, and Jason Roy.

On a wicket that looked dry and offered assistance to bowlers, Quetta won the toss and fielded first. The Islamabad United captain Shadab Khan said that they’d have bowled first too but he wanted to bat on the wicket since spinners would later come into play.

Islamabad almost made Quetta pay instantly and got off to a flying start with Alex Hales smashing 21 off 9 before he got dismissed off Akeal Hosein after having already hit two sixes in the over. The dismissal gave some respite to Quetta bowlers who came back in the game and controlled the flow of the runs.

The in-form Agha Salman hit Mohammad Hasnain four 4s in the final over of the powerplay, with Islamabad finishing at 60/1 after six overs. All hells were about to break loose though as Islamabad could not capitalise on the good start and lost the next eight wickets, adding just 78 more runs to the innings total, thanks to some decent middle-overs and death-overs bowling by Quetta. Among the bowlers, the mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed stood out for picking up three crucial wickets including that of Salman and Colin Munro.

None of the Islamabad batters could produce substantial contributions despite five of them getting off to decent starts. As the chase began, Quetta got off to a cautious start. The Islamabad United bowlers led by Naseem Shah bowled at some tight lines and lengths ensuring that Quetta were never in a comfortable position in the chase.

The trend of batters not being able to convert their starts continued later in the night with only three Quetta batters, including Roy, Rossouw, and Rutherford, knocking off 71 per cent of the chase total, leaving the rest up to others. And despite the flurry of wickets during the middle and death-over phases, Quetta were not completely out of the game.

In the end, they just needed Russouw to stay till the end. With support from Muhammad Amir with the bat at the other end, Quetta chased down the total with 10 balls to spare.

Russouw was awarded the Player of the Match for scoring 34 not out.

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