Lahore spoils Quetta’s chance of reaching play-offs

March 15, 2018 | By

By a Special Correspondent

Lahore Qalandars yet again stopped table toppers Quetta Gladiators from reaching the last four stages with a fighting 17-run victory in Sharjah on Wednesday, leaving the door open for four teams to fill the last three places.

Set a big 187-run target Quetta tried valiantly through Rilee Rossouw’s 22-ball 42 studded with five sixes and Jason Roy’s 26-ball 36 but ended up at 186-4 in their 20 overs after opener Fakhar Zaman’s 50-ball 94 set Lahore for their third consecutive win.

Lahore, already out of the play-off contention, had never won three in a row in the three editions of the Pakistan Super League.

Quetta now have ten points and will have to wait for their match on Thursday against already qualified Islamabad United to harbour hopes of last four.

Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed tried valiantly during his 19-ball 28 but the asking rate rose higher and higher after Quetta needed 63 in the last five overs and 34 in last two.

Sunil Narine (2-22) and Yasir Shah (2-35) were Lahore’s best bowlers.

Fakhar had not gone beyond 49 in this PSL but today he looked in a punishing mood as he opened up from 73-2 in ten overs. He reached his fifty off 34 balls and then smashed three sixes in one Rahat Ali over to enter the 90s.

But six short of this year’s first century he holed out at long off to Anwar Ali who was the most economical bowler with 1-24 in his four overs. Watson and Rahat Ali became the first two bowlers in this year’s event to concede over 50 runs. Rahat took 1-51 while Watson had figures of 0-50 in his four.

Even after Fakhar departed Lahore’s scoring rate dd not drop, with Gulraiz Sadaf cracking three sixes in the 19th over bowled by Watson. Sadaf scored 27-ball 42 while Sunil Narine also remained not out with a 14-ball 20.

Karachi Kings will seek a qualification place in their match against Peshawar Zalmi on Thursday. A win will be enough for Karachi to enter the last four but Zalmi need two wins to harbour any hopes of a last four place. Quetta and Islamabad United face off in the second match, the winner will be sure of a top two finish.

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