Quetta Gladiators edge Karachi Kings in PSL 9 thriller

Quetta Gladiators edged out Karachi Kings by five wickets in the thrilling 16th match of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) Season 9 at the National Bank Stadium on Thursday. 

Sherfane Rutherford was the hero of the match with a quickfire half-century that led his side to a well-deserving victory. He hammered a quickfire 58 runs off 31 balls, laced with one four and six maximums. Jason Roy also smashed a half-century for the winners, scoring 31-ball 52 runs with the help of 2 boundaries and four sixes while Saud Shakeel struck 24 and Akeal Hosein unbeaten 22 runs. 

For Karachi Kings, Zahid Mahmood and Hasan Ali captured two wickets at conceding 17 and 39 runs respectively while Shoaib Malik bagged one wicket.  

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 a 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 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 azharmasood786@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter at @azharmasood786

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