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Peshawar Zalmi vs Quetta Gladiators, First Qualifying Final (19th Feb, 2016) 21st match of PSL.
- Updated: February 20, 2016
Three runs required. Last ball of the match. Aizaz Cheema on Hatrick. Twenty five thousands crowd on its feet. Millions watching live on televisions and internet. Cheema ran in, approaches the wicket, jumps and bowl a short ball. Batsman tries to hit it hard and run for a single. Bowler fields the ball and crowd erupts. There was huge noise in the fields. Quetta Gladiators has made the history. They are the first to reach the final of first edition of Pakistan Super League which turns out to be a huge success. Peshawar Zalmis are stunned. Darren Sammy was lost somewhere. They could have win it easily but the moment has gone.
This is first playoff or 1st Qualifying Final between Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators at Dubai International Cricket Stadium also known as Dubai Sports Club (DSC). Winner of this is directly going to the final. Then there is another final on 20th Feb, whose winner and the Peshawar Zalmi will fight now for the second spot in the final. Star Shahid Afrid, Peshawar Zalmis captain, won the toss and decided to field first perhaps accounting the dew that may fall later at night. Peshawar made two changes English player Bairstow comes in for Tamim Iqbal who had gone home for personal reason. And new star Hassan Ali got the chance to play a crucial game. Muhammad Nabi has left for Asia cup and Nathan McCullum had joined the Gladiators. Aizaz Cheema played instead for Umar Gul. As the match started it was known that this would be a sold out event. There were witnessed huge rush and lines outside the gates while it’s already full.
Hassan Ali started off with the ball and moves away first ball from right hander Bismillah Khan who tried to hit but missed. Next ball was short and a little wide which Khan tried to hit hard instead it lopped to Bairstow who pouched a simple catch and crowd had gone mad. Wicket on the 2nd ball of the match and Zalmis fan can’t sit on their seats. Hassan Ali bowled a wicket maiden. Pietersen joined Ahmed Shehzad and hit a four in the second over, after three overs score was 11 and Ahmed had hit a good looking boundry but he got out at first ball of the next over. It was just started and Gladiators had two wickets down and only 11 score on the board. As Siri Lankan supremo Kumar Sangakkara joined Pietersen, KP decided to take charge and hit the boundary very next ball he played. Sangakkara made his presence felt when he stroke three very gorgeous shots in the sixth over to finish the power play at 35 for 2 for Galdiators. Pietersen and Sangakkara kept on taking singles and occasionally hitting four runs but Sir Lankan hit Afridi two consecutive 4s in the 11th over.
In 12th over KP hit 2 gigantic sixes to Sammy but Sammy managed to get the wicket of Kumar Sangakkara in that over. Gladiator’s captain walked in but could only survive two deliveries from Shahid Afridi and popped a soft catch to the veteran. Quetta which had started to look good, had suddenly looked to be on defensive as their two important batsmen left the field in succession. But hopes are still high as KP was still on the crease, but after an over he also got out on the 1st ball of 15th over when he tried to hit Shaun Tait but caught at long on. Zalmis and their fan go bang in celebrations as they might had realized now they had upper hand in the game. Muhammad Nawaz played good innings for the team hitting two 6s and a four, but got out when the Quetta needed him more. Wahab Riaz got the wicket. At that point score was 124 for 6 and no recognized batsmen left in the dugout for Quetta. Elliot and Anwar Ali could not stand out in front of Wahab’s fiery spell. Quetta Gladiators who once looked to reach 150 easily got all out at 133 with 3 balls remaining in the inning. This appears to be a easy task for Peshawar only later they found out otherwise.
Peshwar started out steadily and Muhammad Hafeez hitting out Aizaz Cheema for consecutive boundaries in third over. His partner Kamran Akmal hit spinner Zulfiqar Baber for a four before getting out to Anwar Ali in net over. Zamlis was relatively better poised at 5th over than Quetta but Muhammad Nawaz, the new star find, for Quetta in sixth over and got on hat trick chance in first two ball in his maiden spell. He missed the hat trick but bowled the magnificent two delivers first to Muhammad Hafeez and then to Hodge, who scored wonderfully well in last match, that pitched on middle and leg and knocked off his off stump and got two wicket maiden over. Suddenly, crowd was up and buzzing for Quetta and Zalmis who were favourite to win the match, seemed well poised to get the target, found themselves in a risky positon. Bairstow and Shahid Yousul tried to get along for some time and built inning for Peshawar. Bairstow got out to Elliot after hitting him for a four in 11th over. Sammy replaced Englishman. Yousuf tried to up the scoring rate. Scored two boundaries and got out to Elliot who bowled intelligently and used his experience. Shahid Afridi came in after him and crowd was going crazy for him. Now all eyes were on Afridi and Sammy, both wonderful hitter of the cricket ball and can change the match in minutes. Sammy scored 10 runs iin 14th over of Aizaz Cheema. Elliot bowled the 15th over, didn’t allowed Afridi and Sammy to score freely. It was last ball of the over Elliot was running and threw the ball a little wide of off stump. Afridi tried to hit hard but sliced it straight to Nawaz for an easy catch. Crowd got silenced as there was no one in the stand. They had come to watch their hero who, against the run off the play unfortunately, couldn’t score big tonight. Elliot ended his spell with wonderful figures of four overs, three wickets and only conceded 19 runs. His tidy spell kept the Quetta in the game. Score was 89 for 6 at the end of 16th over and Sammy looked as last hope or go to man for Peshawar while his partner on the other end was Wahab Riaz who can also hit the ball hard. Sammy and Wahab both hit four in the 17th over and keep everyone interested and blood rushing through. Spectators was going mad and pressure was mounting. Nawaz came to bowl last over of his spell. Sammy thrashed the 3rd ball for a six and next ball for a four before getting out at the last ball and scored 38 runs in 29 balls for himself. Nawaz finished with 3 wickets. As 2 overs left in the game, Zalmis needed 21 runs to score in 12 balls Anwar Ali, the go to man for Sarfraz, came to deliver the over and Hassan Ali slapped his first ball towards mid-off for a four. Next 3 balls Zalmis managed to score 4 runs before Wahab whipped a low full toss for another four runs. Now the noise was unbearable. Crowd had gone on frenzy and Quetta in full pressure. They had only got 8 runs to play with, and only Aizaz Cheema to bowl who had conceded 28 runs in 3 overs without a wicket.
Cheema delivered a ball from wide of the crease. Created an angle. Wahab tried to hit with immense power and missed. Aizaz run in again, bowled a low full toss, Wahab slapped that around midwicket area for a four. Everyone in the stadium could not control their emotions. There was too much pressure and too much drama. It’s happening too much to handle. Some with hands on their eyes. Some biting their nails. Some cheering for a six or boundary and many praying for a wicket. Four runs scored in 2 balls. Four needed in four balls. Aizaz came got the top edge that lands safe and Wahab took single. Hassan Ali who had slapped a wonderful four earlier in the hot position. Cheema bowled a short ball on off, batsman skied it and bowler ran and caught a well judge catch in pressure. Gladiators were on a roll. Fans were ecstatic. As batsmen were able to cross, Cheema bowled 5th ball again short and wide and that time Wahab skied it. Ahmed Shehzad took another good catch in pressure and there was no stopping to the crowd. Sir Viv Richard, mentor for Quetta, was elated. It was last ball, last batsman. Three runs required to win 2 to draw equal for super over. Cheema delivered another short ball Asghar was not able to control it but ran a single. Aizaz fielded the ball and Gladiators had their prey. Crowd was on rumble. Millions enjoyed around the globe.
Nawaz was awarded man of the match for his contribution in every department. Afridi congratulated Quetta. Sarfraz was delighted to win the spot in the final and make history. He wanted to remain focus to win the final.