Quetta Gladiators secure thrilling win over Islamabad in PSL showdown

LAHORE   -  Quetta Gladiators clinched a nail-biting three-wicket win against Islamabad United in the eighth match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) Season 9 at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday night. The match, played under the dazzling lights of Lahore, saw the Gladiators chasing down a target of 139 with just 10 balls to spare, show­casing a blend of strategic prow­ess and individual brilliance. The chase was set in motion by Quetta Gladiators’ opener Jason Roy, who blazed his way to 37 runs off just 18 balls, including six boundaries and a six, setting the tone for the innings. 

Despite losing Saud Shakeel early for just 2 runs, the Gladia­tors kept the momentum going. However, Islamabad United’s bowlers, led by Naseem Shah and Shadab Khan, fought back, claim­ing crucial wickets and putting the Gladiators under pressure. Rilee Rossouw remained a steady presence at the crease, anchor­ing the innings with a composed 34 off 38 balls. Sherfane Ruth­erford’s quickfire 29 off 23 balls injected much-needed pace into the innings, bringing the Gladi­ators closer to their target. De­spite a middle-order wobble and the loss of quick wickets, includ­ing Sarfaraz Ahmed for a mere run and Mohammad Wasim for 1, Mohammad Amir’s unbeaten 11 steered the Gladiators home, marking a memorable victory. 

Earlier, Islamabad United, af­ter opting to bat first, got off to a brisk start thanks to Alex Hales’ rapid 21 off 9 balls. However, the Gladiators’ bowlers, particularly Abrar Ahmed and Mohammad Wasim, quickly stemmed the flow of runs. Abrar’s mesmeriz­ing spell of spin bowling account­ed for 3 wickets for just 18 runs, while Wasim’s pace and accuracy earned him figures of 3-20. Agha Salman’s valiant 33 off 23 balls and Faheem Ashraf’s crucial 20 off 14 balls helped United to post a total of 138/9, a target that ulti­mately proved to be within reach for the Gladiators. 

Shadab Khan and Naseem Shah were the pick of the bowlers for United, with Khan capturing 2 wickets for 24 runs and Shah adding another 2 for 34, but their efforts were not enough to defend the total. Tomorrow (Friday), Multan Cricket Stadium will host the ninth match of the league be­tween hosts Multan Sultans and Peshawar Zalmi at 7:00 PM. 

CONSUL GENERALS FROM CHINA, TURKEY, IRAN ATTEND PSL 9 MATCH 

The Gaddafi Stadium, re­nowned for hosting spectacular cricket matches, added a touch of international diplomacy to the excitement of the HBL Paki­stan Super League Season 9. The eighth match of the series saw an esteemed gathering as the Consul Generals of China, Tur­key, and Iran graced the event with their presence. Extended invitations by the Chief Minister of Punjab and Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Syed Mohsin Naqvi, the diplo­mats were warmly received at the venue, highlighting the in­tersection of sports and interna­tional relations. 

The attendance of Zhao Shi­ren from China, Durmus Bas­tug from Turkey, and Mehran Mowahid Far from Iran not only underscored the global appeal of the PSL but also reflected the strengthening bonds between Pakistan and these countries. 

Chairman PCB, Mohsin Naqvi, took the opportunity to express his appreciation for the distin­guished guests, acknowledging their support in fostering good­will and friendship through the universal language of cricket. The gesture was warmly recip­rocated by the Consul Generals, who shared their enjoyment of the match and gratitude to­wards the PCB Chairman for the invitation.

SCORES IN BRIEF
SCORES IN BRIEF
QUETTA GLADIATORS
139/7 in 18.2 overs (Jason
Roy 37, Rilee Rousouw 34,
Sherfane Rutherford 29;
Shadab Khan 2-24, Naseem
Shah 2-34) beat ISLAMABAD
UNITED 138/9 in 20 overs
(Agha Salman 33, Alex Hales
21; Abrar Ahmed 3-18, Mohammad
Wasim 3-20, Akeal
Hosein 2-32) by 3 wickets.

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

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