Martin Guptill powered Quetta Gladiators to their first win of PSL 2023 with a spectacular knock of 117 runs off 67 balls against Karachi Kings at their home ground. After losing four wickets for just 23 runs in the seventh over, Gladiators were in deep trouble. However, Guptill had other plans. He stitched a 69-run partnership with Iftikhar Ahmed and then unleashed an onslaught in the company of Mohammad Nawaz, scoring a blistering 59 runs off just 20 balls.
In response, Kings also had a rocky start, losing three wickets for 35 runs in the powerplay and then 76 for 5 in the 11th over. However, Shoaib Malik and Irfan Khan gave them hope by adding 86 runs for the sixth wicket. But the chase fell apart as the required run-rate shot up and Quetta’s Naseem Shah and Mohammad Hasnain strangled them. Kings needed 24 runs off the last over, but Odean Smith conceded only 17, securing a six-run win for the visitors.
Imad Wasim led the Kings’ attack, taking three crucial wickets in his first nine balls, and Gladiators’ Jason Roy, Abdul Bangalzai, and Umar Akmal fell early. Guptill was tied down by the early losses but found a steady partner in Iftikhar Ahmed, and the duo rotated the strike, keeping the innings afloat. Although Iftikhar’s wicket in the 15th over was a setback, Guptill continued to attack and reached his fifty.
Guptill was dropped on 61 by Sharjeel Khan, and he made the Kings pay for that mistake. In the 19th over, he plundered 30 runs off Andrew Tye with the help of three sixes and as many fours. James Vince gave Kings a brisk start with his 22 runs off 14 balls, but early wickets put them on the back foot. In the 11th over, Hasnain removed Matthew Wade and Imad Wasim, denting the Kings’ chase further. Malik and Irfan fought hard, but it wasn’t enough to avoid defeat.