Nerveless Nawaz puts Quetta in PSL final

Quetta Gladiators 200 for 7 (Shehzad 71, Wahab 3-40) beat Peshawar Zalmi 199 for 9 (Hafeez 77, Malan 56, Nawaz 3-51) by one run
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

File photo: Mohammad Nawaz may have finished with 51 runs in four overs, but he defended six in the final over to win it for Quetta Gladiators © Getty Images

In a nutshell

This was nothing like Quetta Gladiators’ one-run win over Peshawar Zalmi at the same stage last year. Boundaries flowed seemingly on demand, and ten an over was par for the course. And yet what was the result? Quetta beat Peshawar by one run to qualify for the PSL final on March 5 in Lahore.

The scale of run-scoring and power of ball-striking was on a different level to what had been seen in their clash last year, but there was always a hint of déjà vu. After an early blip, Peshawar took control of a chase of 201 with Mohammad Hafeez and Dawid Malan putting on one of the partnerships of the tournament. Their 139 runs from 72 balls wrenched the momentum back from Quetta, whose bowlers were hamstrung by the heavy dew on the Sharjah outfield.

When Shahid Afridi arrived, and looked in his absolute six-hitting best, the target was brought to almost a run a ball. The wheels turned, however, with his dismissal. With Peshawar needing seven off six, left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz, who had gone for 46 in his first three overs, triggered three wickets off the last three balls to seal the game.

Quetta had done most of their damage with the bat in the first 10 overs. Ahmed Shehzad and Kevin Pietersen ransacked 90 runs in only 42 balls for the second wicket to take the score to 121 for 1, prompting Peshawar to take a time out.

Darren Sammy rallied his troops and they responded beautifully, with only two boundaries coming off the next eight overs. However, Quetta had gained such a sizeable advantage in terms of run-rate in the first half of the innings that they still made 200 with simple rotation of strike and some streaky fours in the end.

More to follow

Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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