Quetta Gladiators are nearly eliminated from PSL 8 and need to win all their remaining games and hope other results go their way if they’re to get through to the playoffs. Islamabad United set a target of 180 runs against Quetta Gladiators at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi on Sunday.
At one stage, it seemed as if United would be chasing a significantly low target but the Gladiators made an impressive comeback in the second half of the innings. Gladiators captain Sarfaraz Ahmed’s decision to bat at number three also backfired as he was caught brilliantly by Mubasir Khan.
Umar Akmal, who was making a comeback in the side, played a blinder to provide impetus in the death overs. The right-hander scored unbeaten 43 runs in only 14 balls. This attacking inning help Gladiaters to give a fighting total in the end.
During the run-chase, United lost a wicket in the first over when Rahmanullah Gurbaz was dismissed by Naseem Shah on duck. However, Colin Munro and Alex Hales took the attack to the Gladiators by adding 52 runs in 25 balls. With the Gladiators reeling at 17-4, Mohammad Nawaz and Najibullah Zadran rescued their side with a superb hundred partnership while also notching up fifties.
Munro, who was the dominant partner in the partnership with Hales, continued to smack Gladiators bowlers to all parts of the ground after being joined by skipper Shadab Khan. But the duo went back to the pavilion in quick succession with Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohammad Nawaz bagging the crucial wickets. Munro scored 63 runs in 29 balls with the help of five fours and four sixes. Meanwhile, Shadab could only score eight runs.
However, Azam Khan (35 off 25) and Faheem Ashraf (39 off 31) stitched a crucial partnership of 58 runs in 44 balls to keep United on track for victory.