PSL 2021:So far so good for Islamabad United in 134-run chase against Quetta Gladiators
Islamabad United are cruising in their run chase against Quetta Gladiators as the Shadab Khan-led side reached 75/0 at the end of the five overs in match 18 of the Pakistan Super League at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed stadium.
Usman Khawaja and Colin Munro who have opened the innings for United are giving a masterclass to the Gladiators on how to bat on the pitch.
Both the openers were not giving any respite to the Gladiators bowler with Naseem Shah, Khurram Shahzad, Jack Wildermuth and Mohammad Hasnain looking helpless against the attack. The two are currently scoring at over 15 an over.
Quetta Gladiators innings
A brilliant bowling performance by Islamabad United helped them restrict Quetta Gladiators to 133, as Sarfaraz Ahmed’s batsmen failed to fire in the match 18 of the Pakistan Super League at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed stadium.
United now require 134 runs to win after they asked the Gladiators to bat first after winning the toss.
South Africa’s Faf du Plessis and young gun Usman Khan opened the batting for the Gladiators. While Hasan Ali opened the bowling for Islamabad United.
Usman looked in fine form as he smashed Hasan Ali for 15 runs in the first over of the game.
While his South African partner looked uncomfortable from the beginning and he was soon put out of his misery by 19-year-old Mohammad Wasim in the third over of the match.
The loss of the wicket brought in Australian Jake Weatherald and the new batsman presence helped Islamabad contain Quetta in the powerplay as the Gladiators ended the first six overs at 36/1.
As soon as the powerplay ended, Shadab Khan brought himself into the attack and the decision proved fruitful as he dismissed Usman Khan, who was in fine touch, for 14.
The fall of the wicket had led Sarfaraz Ahmed to promote himself up in the order but his stay at the crease was short-lived. Musa was asked to bowl after Shadab and he dismissed the Quetta captain to put the Gladiators at 49/3.
Weatherald, who had made 43, was helping Gladiators rebuild their innings before he was removed by Akif Javed. The Australian was trying to be cheeky against the bowler but the move proved too costly for him.
Weatherald was the fourth wicket of Quetta to fall at 88 in the 13th over.
The next man in was Andre Russel, who was signed in by the Gladiators for the Abu Dhabi leg of the tournament.
As soon as the West Indian came in he smashed two consecutive sixes of Musa’s bowling. However, it was the United bowler who had the last laugh as he dismissed the Russell in the same over.
Despite the constant wicket taking the Gladiators had reached 110/5 at the end of the 15th over and had the perfect platform to launch themselves.
However, in the next over Mohammad Nawaz lost his wicket to Mohammad Wasim. And Hasan Ali dismissed Azam Khan to bring in two new batsmen to the crease.
Jack Wildermuth and Khurram Shehzad who had come new to the crease failed to capitalise.
The two attempted to push themselves in the last over the innings but that led to the dismissal of Shehzad. And two balls later Wildermuth join Shahzad in the dugout as he attempted another unnecessary run.
And at the last ball of the innings, Hasan Ali dismissed Zahid Mahmood to ensure Quetta Gladiators were all out for 133.
United were defeated in first game played on Wednesday after PSL’s resumption, Sarfaraz Ahmed’s side will be in action for the first time in Abu Dhabi.
After suffering the setback against Lahore Qalandars, Shadab’s United will be aiming for recovery in this match.
Their only batsman, who could score in the 20s was Faheem Ashraf. But with a hand injury, Ashraf’s services will not be available to the United.
The Gladiators are the bottom-placed team in PSL 2021. They won only one of their first five matches before the event was suspended when they had defeated Multan Sultans by 22 runs as Usman Khan hammered 81 in the last completed match in Karachi.
The Gladiators will be banking on Andre Russell, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Faf du Plessis and Azam Khan with the bat as they’re certain they can’t afford another defeat in the tournament.
This is the second match between the two sides. United had defeated Gladiators on March 1 in Karachi.
Quetta Gladiators: Faf du Plessis, Usman Kha, Jake Weatherald, Sarfaraz Ahmed (C), Azam Khan, Andre Russell, Mohammad Nawaz, Jack Wildermuth, Mohammad Hasnain, Khurram Shehzad, Zahid Mehmood
Islamabad United: Colin Munro, Usman Khawaja, Shadab Khan (c), Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Rohail Nazir, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Musa Khan, Akif Javed
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