SHARJAH: Quetta Gladiators last night scored a heart-stopping one-run victory over Peshawar Zalmi to book a berth in Sunday’s final of the Pakistan Super League.
Batting first in the first qualifying final, Quetta reached a challenging 200 for seven in their 2o overs with an attacking 71 (38 balls, 7 fours, 4 sixes) by opener Ahmed Shehzad and an equally aggressive 40 (22 balls, 2 four, three sixes) by Kevin Pietersen.
In reply, Peshawar started badly losing two wickets by the end of the second over with just three runs the board. But DJ Malan (56, 30 balls, 8 fours, 1 six) and Mohammed Hafeez (77, 47 balls, 5 fours, 6 sixes) kept them in the race.
However, once the duo departed within the space of 15 runs and two runs outs of the last two deliveries saw Peshawar lose a match which they should have won with some comfort.
They eventually ended 199 for nine at the end of the 20th over while needing two runs of the last delivery for a thrilling victory.
Mohammed Nawaz proved an unlikely hero as he kept his cool to bowl the decisive last over.
The Pakistan left-arm spinner had already gone for 46 runs off three overs when he was brought on to bowl the final over.
He leaked five and took a crucial wicket of Chris Jordan to seal victory. And in the process, Shahid Afridi’s explosive 13-ball 34 (1 four and 6 sixes) went in vain.
Meanwhile, the PSL confirmed that the Decision Review System will be used for the tournament’s three play-off matches starting last night.
The tournament’s chairman Najam Sethi made the decision public by tweeting, “another first from #HBLPSL. DRS to be used in the #HBLPSL play-off matches.”
While the ball-tracking technology Hawk-Eye has been used as a tool by the broadcasters since the start of the PSL, it has not been part of the umpires’ decision-making process.
This development possibly also marks the first time DRS will be used in a T20 contest at either franchise or international level.
Each side will be allowed one review per innings in the same way the technology is used at ODI level.
DRS is, however, not expected to be available for the PSL final, which Sethi announced yesterday would be held in Lahore, as the company handling the Hawk-Eye technology will not travel to Pakistan.
Earlier this month, the ICC chief executives committee gave an in-principle approval for use of DRS for the first time in an ICC T20 tournament in 2018, with one review per team in the Women’s World T20 in the West Indies..
2nd qualifying final
Islamabad Utd vs Karachi Kings
(Sharjah. Starting at 7pm)