HBL PSL 2024: Amir cameo, Rossouw knock keep Quetta Gladiators unbeaten

Published February 23, 2024
ISLAMABAD United batter Rumman Raees is cleaned up by Quetta Gladiators pacer Mohammad Wasim Jr during their match at the Gaddafi Stadium 
on Thursday.—M. Arif/White Star
ISLAMABAD United batter Rumman Raees is cleaned up by Quetta Gladiators pacer Mohammad Wasim Jr during their match at the Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday.—M. Arif/White Star

LAHORE: Quetta Gladiators were getting closer. Although not cruising, they were nearing the paltry 139-run target set by Islamabad United with fair ease. United, meanwhile, were desperate.

They were not shying away from putting up a fight on a chilly night here in the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) match at the Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday. And the Shadab Khan-led side did so, only for a seasoned campaigner in Mohammad Amir to spoil their party as Quetta edged the match by three wickets.

Islamabad persistence started to reap its rewards when Quetta were needing just 23 off 25 balls after Quetta captain Rilee Rossouw had combined for a 62-run partnership with Sherfane Rutherford.

It started with pace sensation Naseem Shah, running in towards Rutherford, pitching the ball at a perfect length in line with off-stump and bamboozling the left-hander to send it flying.

The incoming Akeal Hosein launched off-spinner Salman Ali Agha for a huge six over wide long-on to make up for his West Indies team-mate’s dismissal, but was ran out on the next ball as Islamabad kept hoping.

The two-time champions’ hopes got even higher when Shadab castled Mohammad Wasim Jr with a ripper. But that was all to cherish for Islamabad as Amir walked in.

With a classical left-handed stance, the Pakistan discard cut Shadab in front of square effortlessly for a boundary, he played an even better shot off Rumman Raees’ pace in the next over for four more before nudging it yet again through the off-side and taking a single to give Quetta their third win in as many matches.

It was the second defeat for Islamabad, who must be regretting not scoring enough runs after they were put into bat by Gladiators captain Rilee Rossouw.

The Gladiators’ decision to bowl first paid dividends as they never let Islamabad find their feet in terms of the flow of runs. It was a mix of good bowling by Quetta and poor batting for Islamabad with a bit of hard luck for the two time champions as well.

Salman’s 33 off 23, which featured five fours, was Islamabad’s best batting performance as they struggled mainly against spinner Abrar Ahmed and pacer Wasim as both took three wickets each.

Islamabad, however, had a flying start when opener Alex Hales launched Hosein for two handsome sixes down the ground but his stay came to an end as he played the spinner into the hands of Rossouw at cover.

The incoming Salman was dropped at eight by Amir as he skied pacer Mohammad Hasnain in an attempt to pull. The right-hander, who had started off the over with a boundary, hit three more in it as Islamabad posted 60-1 in the powerplay.

Munro miscued a skier to get caught in the deep off Abrar and that opened up the gates for two more United wickets to fall in the space of as many overs as captain Shadab and Azam Khan departed cheaply off the bowling of Hasnain and Hosein respectively.

Salman, who still looked settled on the crease, was next to follow as he became Abrar’s second victim in the 12th over.

Only two fours and a six came for Islamabad after that as wickets kept falling. While Abrar got his third in form of Imad Wasim.

Wasim took wickets on the last two balls of the innings.

In response, Jason Roy gave Quetta a flying start, driving Naseem through the covers for consecutive boundaries to open the chase. The Englishman, however, was separated from his opening partner Saud Shakeel two overs later as Naseem trapped him lbw.

Veteran spinner Imad was the next to come under Roy’s radar, as the right-hander punished him for wayward bowling by smashing three fours in the fourth over.

Roy followed that up with a straight six off Naseem, but saw first drop Khawaja Nafay castled by Rumman at the other end an over later as United managed 51-2 in the powerplay.

It was the end for Roy when he played on fast bowler Hunain Shah to walk back to the pavilion with 37 off 18 against his name. Quetta were deeper into trouble in no time as Sarfraz Ahmed became Shadab’s victim as he found his pads in front of the stumps while attempt to play his favoured sweep shot.

Rutherford (29 off 23) pumped Hunain over backward square-leg to get going while Rossouw’s (34 not out off 38) first boundary was a drive through the off-side off Salman’s off-spin. The two combined for 62 off 53 balls — a partnership that ended up becoming the point of difference between the two teams.

Salman responded brilliantly as he conceded only three runs in his next over, the 13th, as Islamabad looked to tighten the equation for the Gladiators.

The off-spinner and Islamabad were also stunned by an apparent mistake by the ball-tracking system, which showed the ball moving into a trajectory opposite to its original direction during a DRS review following an lbw appeal against Rossouw.

The lack of enough run to defend, however, was a problem to deal with for Islamabad as Quetta kept moving close to the target despite not being able to score boundaries regularly before Naseem cleaned up Rutherford to give the match an interesting closing.

SCPREBOARD

ISLAMABAD UNITED:

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

Colin Munro c Rutherford b Abrar 20 22 1 1 90.90

Alex Hales c Rossouw b Hosein 21 9 1 2 233.33

Salman Ali Agha c Nafay b Abrar 33 23 5 0 143.47

Shadab Khan c Roy b Hasnain 2 4 0 0 50.00

Azam Khan c Rossouw b Hosein 1 4 0 0 25.00

Jordan Cox c Saud b Wasim 19 21 1 0 90.47

Imad Wasim c Sarfraz b Abrar 9 15 0 0 60.00

Faheem Ashraf c Roy b Wasim 20 14 1 1 142.85

Hunain Shah not out 2 7 0 0 28.57

Rumman Raees b Wasim 0 1 0 0 0.00

EXTRAS (LB-3, W-8) 11

TOTAL (for nine wickets, 20 overs) 138

DID NOT BAT: Naseem Shah

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-29 (Hales), 2-69 (Munro), 3-72 (Shadab), 4-80 (Azam), 5-87 (Salman), 6-105 (Imad), 7-118 (Cox), 8-138 (Faheem), 9-138 (Rumman)

BOWLING: Hosein 4-0-32-2, Amir 4-0-30-0 (3w), Abrar 4-0-18-3, Hasnain 4-0-35-1 (1w), Wasim 4-0-20-3

QUETTA GLADIATORS:

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

Jason Roy b Hunain 37 18 6 1 205.55

Saud Shakeel lbw b Naseem 2 6 0 0 33.33

Khawaja Nafay b Rumman 9 9 1 0 100.00

Rilee Rossouw not out 34 38 3 0 89.47

Sarfraz Ahmed lbw b Shadab 1 6 0 0 16.66

Sherfane Rutherford b Naseem 29 23 1 2 126.08

Akeal Hosein run out 8 2 0 1 400.00

Mohammad Wasim b Shadab 1 2 0 0 50.00

Mohammad Amir not out 11 6 2 0 183.33

EXTRAS (LB-3, W-4) 7

TOTAL (for seven wickets, 18.2 overs) 139

DID NOT BAT: Mohammad Hasnain, Abrar Ahmed

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-17 (Saud), 2-49 (Nafay), 3-51 (Roy), 4-54 (Sarfraz), 5-116 (Rutherford), 6-125 (Hosein), 7-127 (Wasim)

BOWLING: Naseem 4-0-34-2 (1w), Imad 2-0-23-0 (1w), Rumman 2.2-0-14-1 (1w), Hunain 2-0-13-1, Shadab 4-0-24-2, Salman 4-0-28-0

RESULT: Quetta Gladiators won by three wickets.

PLAYER-OF-THE-MATCH: Rilee Rossouw

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2024

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