SHARJAH: Quetta Gladiators beat Peshawar Zalmi by just one run in the thrilling first playoff of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2017 here at the Sharjah Cricket Ground on Tuesday. Zalmi skipper won the toss and opted to bowl first on the Sharjah pitch. The Quetta openers started off ferociously. Luke Wright got out early for just 12. After that, Shehzad and Pietersen took Zalmi bowlers down the ground every-now-and-then. Luke Wright got out early for just 12. After that, Shehzad and Pietersen took Zalmi bowlers down the ground every-now-and-then. Shehzad 71 off 38 balls and Pietersen 40 off 22 balls took the score to 132 in less than 12 overs. The projected score looked to be between 210-220, but both set batsmen got out back to back. The two new batsmen took the time to set on the wicket; the scoring rate came down significantly. Some big hits followed by a couple of run outs in the death overs, restricted Quetta Gladiators to 200/7.
Peshawar started off drastically, losing 2 wickets for just 3 runs inside two overs. Mohammad Hafeez and David Malan then chipped in, took their time and built up a brilliant partnership of 125 off .. to bring back Zalmi into the big chase. Mohammad Hafeez (77) and Dawid Malan (56) struck such beautiful fifties to keep the game alive. Then Shahid Afridi tonked it all over the park and it seemed like a straightforward win when the equation was 20 off 18. But Nawaz took over from there on. Took a pressure catch to get rid of Afridi. Then nailed the yorkers in the final over to defend a mere six runs to put his team in the final. Man of the match Ahmed Shehzad said: “I’ve been working hard,” he says, “There have been ups and downs, but you have to stay strong.” I had good support. Then I had a good domestic season and I was really pumped up for the PSL. If I continue like this, I can do wonders for the country, I guess. KP is a big player. And when you’re with him, you can always have a good run-rate going and you can put a good foundation. Hats off to him”