How the game played out
Shane Watson’s sizzling unbeaten 91 moved him to the top of the PSL 2019 run charts and helped Quetta Gladiators become the first team to seal a playoff spot this season. Watson added 129 for the second wicket with Ahmed Shehzad to ensure that chasing the target of 166 set by Peshawar Zalmi turned out to be a cinch.
Zalmi paid for a conservative approach through the early and middle parts of their innings after being sent in to bat. Openers Andre Fletcher and Imam-ul-Haq took up just over a third of the available deliveries in the innings, scoring at an identical strike rate of under a run a ball, providing weak support for Kamran Akmal during his 72 off 50 balls.
It wasn’t until Kieron Pollard arrived with one ball to go in the 14th over that Zalmi went on the attack. Pollard struck two fours and a six off Dwayne Bravo in the 18th, then started the 19th with a trio of fours off Sohail Tanvir, but Bravo’s magnificent 20th over in which he conceded just three runs wiped out all of Zalmi’s momentum. Watson then made the most of a few chances early in the chase to bully Zalmi’s bowlers over the course of 90 minutes.
Star of the day
Watson was imperious through much of his knock but two shots in particular stood out. On the last ball of the seventh over, Umaid Asif attempted a slower ball that landed a touch short outside off stump as Watson slapped him over cover for six. A more mind-boggling maximum came off Wahab Riaz two balls into the 18th when he carved out a wide yorker over the ropes at backward point.
The big miss
There were a handful of them by Zalmi in the field, but Pollard’s shy at the stumps with Watson vulnerable in the fourth over began a snowball effect of poor fielding.
Where the teams stand
Gladiators now sit alone in first place on 12 points. Zalmi are two points behind them alone in second place, two ahead of Islamabad United.
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