Rutherford powers Quetta Gladiators to victory over Kings in PSL showdown

LAHORE   -   Quetta Gladiators clinched a thrilling five-wicket win over Karachi Kings in the 16th match of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) Season 9 at the National Bank Stadium, Karachi on Thursday night. 

The spotlight shone brightly on Sherfane Rutherford, whose explosive batting display turned the tide in favor of the Gladia­tors. He was the man, who suc­cessfully completed the chase by cracking a boundary on the last delivery, when only one run was needed to win. Rutherford’s scintillating knock of 58 runs off just 31 balls was adorned with a boundary and six towering sixes. 

Jason Roy complemented Rutherford’s heroics with a stel­lar 52 off 31 deliveries, including two fours and four sixes, setting the stage for a gripping finale. Saud Shakeel and Akeal Hosein also made valuable contributions down the order, scoring 24 and an unbeaten 22 runs, respective­ly, ensuring their team crossed the finish line with confidence. 

Karachi Kings, despite their val­iant efforts, couldn’tcontain the onslaught. Zahid Mahmood and Hasan Ali were the pick of the bowlers, claiming two wickets each but at the cost of 17 and 39 runs. Veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik also managed to snag a wick­et, but it was not enough to deter the Gladiators’ march to victory. 

Earlier, Quetta Gladiators’ spinners took center stage, claiming seven wickets to re­strict Karachi Kings to a total of 165/8. The Kings, batting first, stumbled early with the loss of their captain, Shan Masood, for a duck in the very first over. Vice-captain James Vince and Tim Seifert mounted a spirited counter-attack, forging a dy­namic 59-run partnership and propelling the Kings to 61/1 by the end of the powerplay. 

The game saw a dramatic turn when Usman Tariq dismissed both Vince and Seifert in quick succession. Vince amassed 37 runs off 25 balls, including eight boundaries, while Seifert struck quickfire 21 from 11 balls. M Nawaz and Shoaib Malik then at­tempted to stabilize the innings, sharing a 39-run stand before Malik fell to Abrar Ahmed. 

Nawaz, after playing a brisk knock of 28 from 19 balls, was dismissed as the Kings were struggling at 138/8 in 17.2 overs. Kieron Pollard, Hasan Ali, and Muhammad Irfan Khan also fell in rapid succession. However, Anwar Ali provided some late excitement with an unbeaten 25 off 14 balls, including a four and two sixes, lifting the Kings to their final score of 165/8. Abrar Ahmed emerged as the most suc­cessful bowler for the Gladiators, capturing 3-31, while Hosein and Tariq bagged two wickets each and Sohail Khan got one.

Azhar Khan is an accomplished senior sports journalist with extensive experience in the field. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @azharmasood786

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt