Champions Quetta Gladiators knocked out despite win over Karachi Kings
KARACHI: Defending champions Quetta Gladiators crashed out of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 despite crushing Karachi Kings by five wickets at National Stadium on Sunday in the 30th and last round-robin fixture of the tournament.
The Gladiators were set a modest 151-run target but their horrendous run rate meant they needed to get to that total in a mere 3.2 overs in order to prise away the last semi-final spot from the tight grip of Peshawar Zalmi.
Their almost impossible mission had the worst possible start as their supremely out-of-form batsman Ahmed Shehzad failed yet again, getting out on just his second ball for a duck. But from that point on Shane Watson (66) and Khurram Manzoor (63) took over, forming a 118-run partnership. The duo was dismissed later but the damage they had done was enough to get their side a meaningless victory.
Earlier, a Karachi side that named a very strong batting line-up despite it being a dead rubber, struggled for inspiration and motivation, mustering up a modest 150-5.
Sharjeel, the man of the match in the last game, was out for a duck in the first over while his partner Babar Azam was uncharacteristically lethargic in a 34-ball 32. Cameron Delport’s 62 and Chadwick Walton’s 26 helped the port city side stay competitive in a match they did not need to win.
Playing XIs Quetta Gladiators: Sarfaraz Ahmed, Ahmed Shahzad, M Nawaz, Shane Watson, Khurram Manzoor, M Hasnain, Ben Cutting, M Azam Khan, Naseem Shah, Fawad Ahmed, Sohail Khan
Karachi Kings: Babar Azam, Sharjeel Khan, Cameron Delport, Chadwick Walton, Iftikhar Ahmed, M Rizwan, Usama Mir, Ali Khan, Waqas Maqsood, Umer Khan, Arshad Iqbal.