Quetta Gladiators stormed to their third PSL final after defeating Peshawar Zalmi by 10 runs in a tense Qualifier in Karachi on Wednesday.
Opening batsman Shane Watson took his brilliant from right into the playoffs, smashing 71 from 43 deliveries as Quetta reached 186-6.
While the pitch at the National Stadium is a batting beauty, Zalmi didn’t find that to be the case as the top order struggled to get any momentum going.
West Indies all-rounder Darren Sammy (46) and Kieron Pollard (44) mounted a late charge, adding 83 runs in six overs to take Zalmi close to an improbable win after being 90-5.
But with 21 runs needed, Watson bowled a brilliant final over to clean bowl Pollard and then saw Sammy run out as Quetta made it to the final.
Quetta pacers Sohail Tanvir and Mohammad Hasnain had put the squeeze early on, going for seven or less an over. From the other end, left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz bowled stump to stump and gave nothing away, going for just 25 from his four overs and picking up the wicket of Sohaib Maqsood.
In-form opener Imam-ul-Haq looked like steering the chase but saw his stumps rattled by part time spinner Rilee Rossouw trying to play a late cut.
ANOTHER OYE HOYE OVER!@ShaneRWatson33 successfully defends and Quetta Gladiators have defeated Peshawar Zalmi by 10 runs— Cricingif (@_cricingif) March 13, 2019
Ball-by-ball scorecard 👉 https://t.co/hpkh4wp6j5 #PZvQG #PSL2019 #KhelDeewanoKa #CricketForAll #OyeHoyeMoments pic.twitter.com/YWTexSjcBp
The burden once again fell on the shoulders of Misbah-ul-Haq and he tried to keep up with the scoring rate, but Hasnain returned to pin him on the back foot and have the veteran lbw for 18.
Hasnain inflicted more damage on Peshawar, hitting captain Darren Sammy in the lower abdomen first ball. At 90-5, it looked like game over. But Pollard and Sammy kept Peshawar in the hunt, despite the serious blow the latter had taken. That injury probably had a role to play in Sammy getting run out in the final over as he struggle to stretch.
Earlier, Watson and Ahsan Ali (46) added 111 runs for the second wicket to set the foundation for a big total. However, Peshawar hit back with three quick wickets, reducing them to 137-4. But some late hitting by Umar Akmal took Quetta closer to a big total.
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