HBL PSL 2024: Crafty Saud helps Gladiators make playoffs in nail-biter

HBL PSL 2024: Crafty Saud helps Gladiators make playoffs in nail-biter

KARACHI: Saud Sha­keel crawled along; boundaries sparse, run-rate rising. As the Quetta Gladi­ators’ opener looked like “taking it deep”, Lahore Qalandars sensed an elusive victory in the HBL Pakistan Super League match here at the National Bank Stadium on Sunday.

Although Saud had dragged his way to a half-century, it came down to his team needing 29 off the last two overs to overcome the 167-run target.

It was then the Qalandars realised that the Quetta left-hander was planning an ambush all this time, concealing his moves with absolute stealth.

After Laurie Evans at the other end had driven Jahandad Khan for a four through the covers, Saud picked the pacer off good length for a six over long-off. Despite losing Evans to Qalandars captain Shah­een in the final over, Saud showed elite composure to audaciously reverse sweep a low full toss for four before lifting him over mid-off for another boundary.

By scampering for a single on the next ball, the last, with Quetta needing four off it, Saud handed the responsibility of dealing the decisive blow of the ambush to late-order batter Mohammad Wasim Jr.

The right-hander did not disappoint, swinging the bat powerfully as a slot ball by Shaheen met the middle of it and flew over midwicket for a six as Quetta took the match by six wickets, and registered a place in the playoffs.

Left-handed Saud, who ended up with 88 not out off 65 against his name, had carried Quetta almost single-handedly as wickets fell at crucial points at the other end. The first of them was of Saud’s opening partner Jason Roy, who became Jahandad’s victim after getting the Gladiators off the mark with three consecutive fours off Shaheen as the team posted 43-1 in powerplay.

Saud, who, meanwhile, had shown his class with a flick of wrists for four more against Shaheen and a six over extra-cover off David Wiese, clubbed pac­er Tay­yab Abbas over midwicket to take Quetta past 50.

Jahandad struck again as he trapped Rossouw lbw — the decision confirmed aft­er a review — in the ninth over and Quetta were 72-2 by the end of the 10th over.

Rossouw’s dismissal had brought Quetta’s run-rate down, but Saud broke the shackles with a ramp shot off slow left-armer George Linde and a sweep against off-spinner Sikandar Raza to bring up his 50 in 42 balls before Quetta crossed the 100-run mark in the 14th over.

Saud smoked Raza over deep midwicket with a mighty sweep for six in the 15th over before Khawaja Nafay, who had pulled Jahandad imperiously for a six in the 17th over got trapped lbw by Shaheen in the next over to end a 70-run partnership betw­een him and Saud, before Quetta wrapped it up.

After Lahore won the toss and elected to bat first, half centuries by Abdullah Shaf­ique and Shaheen had hel­p­ed Lahore reach 166-4 aft­er dismissals of openers Sahibzada Farhan and Mir­za Tahir Baig thwarted their start.

The duo combined for 91 off 57 balls with Abdullah adding an unbeaten 59 off 39 and Shaheen smashing 55 off 34.

The Qalandars were 38-2 by the end of powerplay — with spinner Abrar Ahmed taking both wickets in the sixth over — and went on to lose Shai Hope cheaply when the Trinidadian he was cut in half by a Wasim ins­winger that took the inside edge and flew to wic­ket-keeper Evans, who div­ed acrobatically to his left to take a one-handed catch.

Abdullah, who had come into the match on the back of a half century against Karachi Kings a day earlier, was showing chances of good form even before Hope was gone.

The right-hander hit a perfect cover drive and a cracking pull off Wasim in the seventh over. He executed a reverse swe­ep to perfection against Abrar.

Abdullah was given a second life when he was dropped by Jason Roy at wide long-on as he went after spinner Akeal Hosein while playing at 19 in the ninth over before he lost Hope on the other end.

The Qalandars had registered 70-3 at halfway stage as Shaheen came up the order and struggled to put bat to ball, let alone go for big hits, in his first few minutes at the crease. Although he had pushed Abrar off the back foot for his first boundary, the Pakistan T20 captain could only manage singles and doubles, before he finally got going with Lahore’s next four three overs later as he clubbed pacer Sohail Khan up and over wide long-on.

Abdullah followed that up with a gorgeous lofted cover drive off Hosein for six before Shaheen added two more maximums — a slog sweep over midwicket and a handsome hit over cover — against the Guya­nese all-rounder to wrap up the 15th over.

Shaheen connected once again, this time against Abrar, to clear the boundary on the leg-side with ease and launched the spinner over long-off to bring up his fifty in 27 balls.

Abdullah brought up the half-century in 34 balls and 150 for the Qalandars in the 18th over with a beautifully-timed, high and long six over long-off off Hosein.

Shaheen had skied the ball several times but the Quetta fielders did not seem to go all in for those chances. He was taken finally in the last over bowled by Amir before Raza’s slash through the off-side took the Qalandars to 166-4.


Multan Sultans v Islamabad United


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

Yasir Khan b Hunain 33 16 4 2 206.25

Mohammad Rizwan lbw b Faheem 20 17 2 1 117.64

Usman Khan not out 100 50 15 3 200.00

Johnson Charles c Azam b Faheem 42 18 3 3 233.33

Iftikhar Ahmed c Hales b Naseem 13 12 2 0 108.33

Chris Jordan not out 15 7 1 1 214.28

EXTRAS (LB-3, W-2) 5

TOTAL (for four wickets, 20 overs) 228

DID NOT BAT: Tayyab Tahir, David Willey, Usama Mir, Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Ali

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-44 (Yasir), 2-58 (Rizwan), 3-144 (Charles), 4-198 (Iftikhar)

BOWLING: Naseem 4-0-31-1 (2w), Imad 3-0-29-0, Faheem 3-0-32-2, Hunain 2-0-29-1, Mills 4-0-52-0, Shadab 4-0-52-0


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

Colin Munro c Usman b Jordan 84 40 9 5 210.00

Alex Hales c Usman b Willey 0 1 0 0 0.00

Salman Ali Agha c & b Ali 2 5 0 0 40.00

Shadab Khan c Willey b Abbas 54 31 6 2 174.19

Azam Khan b Abbas 0 2 0 0 0.00

Haider Ali b Ali 19 13 4 0 146.15

Faheem Ashraf c Willey b Abbas 23 14 2 1 164.28

Imad Wasim not out 30 13 4 1 230.76

Naseem Shah not out 1 1 0 0 100.00

EXTRAS (LB-8, W-11) 19

TOTAL (for seven wickets, 20 overs) 232

DID NOT BAT: Hunain Shah, Tymal Mills

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-1 (Hales), 2-4 (Salman), 3-145 (Shadab), 4-149 (Azam), 5-157 (Munro), 6-181 (Haider), 7-221 (Faheem)

BOWLING: Willey 4-0-30-1 (1w), Ali 4-0-44-2 (3w), Jordan 4-0-42-1 (1w), Usama 4-0-68-0, Abbas 4-0-40-3 (1w)

RESULT: Islamabad United won by three wickets.


Lahore Qalandars v Quetta Gladiators


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

Sahibzada Farhan c Roy b Abrar 25 22 4 0 113.63

Mirza Baig c Wasim b Abrar 12 13 0 1 92.30

Abdullah Shafique not out 59 39 3 2 151.28

Shai Hope c Evans b Wasim 5 7 0 0 71.42

Shaheen Shah Afridi c Sohail b Amir 55 34 2 4 161.76

Sikandar Raza not out 6 5 1 0 120.00

EXTRAS (B-1, LB-1, W-2) 4

TOTAL (for four wickets, 20 overs) 166

DID NOT BAT: David Wiese, George Linde, Jahandad Khan, Tayyab Abbas, Zaman Khan

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-38 (Farhan), 2-39 (Baig), 3-69 (Hope), 4-160 (Shaheen)

BOWLING: Amir 4-0-30-1 (1w), Sohail 4-0-25-0, Hosein 4-0-50-0 (1w), Abrar 4-0-31-2, Wasim 4-0-28-1


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

Jason Roy c Hope b Jahandad 18 14 4 0 128.57

Saud Shakeel not out 88 65 5 4 135.38

Rilee Rossouw lbw b Jahandad 13 11 1 0 118.18

Khawaja Nafay lbw b Shaheen 26 24 0 1 108.33

Laurie Evans c Baig b Shaheen 7 4 1 0 175.00

Mohammad Wasim not out 7 2 0 1 350.00

EXTRAS (LB-4, W-6) 10

TOTAL (for four wickets, 20 overs) 169

DID NOT BAT: Omair bin Yousuf, Akeal Hosein, Mohammad Amir, Abrar Ahmed, Sohail Khan

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-39 (Roy), 2-66 (Rossouw), 3-136 (Nafay), 4-153 (Evans)

BOWLING: Shaheen 4-0-41-2 (1w), Zaman 2-0-10-0, Wiese 1-0-8-0, Jahandad 4-0-30-2 (1w), Tayyab 1-0-14-0 (2w), Raza 4-0-32-0 (1w), Linde 4-0-30-0 (1w)

RESULT: Quetta Gladiators won by six wickets.




Multan Sultans 9 6 3 0 0 12 0.839

Islamabad United 10 5 4 0 1 11 0.224

Peshawar Zalmi 9 5 3 0 1 11 0.148

Quetta Gladiators 9 5 3 0 1 11 -0.535

Karachi Kings 9 4 5 0 0 8 -0.200

Lahore Qalandars 10 1 8 0 1 3 -0.554

Published in Dawn, March 11th, 2024

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