Watson, Hasnain steer Quetta into HBL PSL final as Peshawar falter

By ScoreLine Desk - March 14, 2019

Karachi: Shane Watson hit a solid half-century and rookie pacer Mohammad Hasnain took two wickets under pressure to steer Quetta Gladiators into the final of HBL PSL with a hard fought 10-run win in the Qualifier in Karachi on Wednesday.

Watson’s 43-ball 71 spiced with six sixes and five boundaries propelled Quetta to 186-6 in their 20 overs before they survived a late Caribbean onslaught from Kieron Pollard (22-ball 44 with six boundaries and a six) and Darren Sammy ( 21-ball 46 with five sixes and two boundaries) as Peshawar Zalmi managed 176-7 in their 20 overs.

The win earned Quetta a place in the final for a third time, having lost both previous finals in 2016 and 2017.

Peshawar, winners in 2017 and runners-up last year, will play the winners of Eliminator 1 — between defending champions Islamabad United and Karachi Kings on Thursday — on Friday.

This is Quetta’s third win in four play-offs against Peshawar, having won in 2016 and 2017 and losing last year.

Peshawar were down and out when Misbah-ul-Haq became one of Hasnain’s two victims (4-1-28-2) as they needed 97 in 6.3 overs but Pollard and Sammy tried their valiant best during a fiery 83-run stand for the sixth-wicket.

Sammy clobbered two sixes and a boundary off Dwayne Bravo as 22 came off the 16th over. Peshawar needed 35 off the last two overs.

It came down to 21 off the final over bowled by Watson who was hit for a six off the second ball by Pollard before the Australian bowled him with a short slower ball. Next ball Sammy was run out as he attempted a bye.

That sealed the match for Quetta.

Watson said it was nice to contribute to the team’s total.

“It was nice to bat like this once again,” said Watson. “I think Ahsan (Ali) also batted well and we were able to lift the team to a good total.”

Quetta skipper Sarfraz was delighted with the win.

“It is a very good victory,” said Sarfraz. “Watson steadied the innings after the loss of an early wicket and Ahsan supported him very well and then bowlers controlled when it mattered.”

Sammy gave credit to Quetta team.

“Credit to Quetta, they deserved to win,” said Sammy. “The bowlers came back strongly in the last ten overs but we were an over and 16 runs short.”

Watson and Ahsan Ali (32-ball 46 with two sixes and four boundaries) lifted Quetta after they lost opener Ahmed Shahzad for one in the second over. The pair put on 111 to steady the innings and that too at a fast pace.

Watson hit two sixes and a boundary off Hasan Ali (1-21) in the third over and again two sixes and a boundary off Liam Dawson to bring up the fifty in just 4.4 overs. He completed his fourth fifty in this HBL PSL — seventh overall — off just 30 balls. Quetta have so far hit 18 sixes in the Power-Plays this year — the most by any team — with Watson hitting 12 of them.

But after reaching 96 in the first ten overs Quetta were pulled back by a rearguard action from Peshawar bowlers who kept it tight, with Wahab Riaz (2-26) as the lead bowler. Wahab dismissed Watson and Umar Akmal for 15-ball 22 which had three boundaries.

Hasan now has 22 wickets in this HBL PSL season four.

Title holders Islamabad United take on Karachi Kings in the Eliminator 1 on Wednesday. The winner will face Peshawar in the Eliminator 2 on Friday.

Quetta Gladiators beat Peshawar Zalmi by 10 runs in HBL PSL Qualifier.

By ScoreLine Desk

Related Articles