(United 165 for 6 in 20 overs)
(Gladiators 164 for 5 in 20 overs)
DUBAI February 24: A dazzling 133 run second-wicket partnership between Ahmed Shehzad and Kevin Pietersen went in vain as the Quetta Gladiators lost to Islamabad United by one run in the latest HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) clash at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
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Gladiators stuttered after the Shehzad-Pietersen partnership, they needed five off the last over bowled by Mohammad Sami (Man-of-the-match), the Test fast bowler bowled a heroic last over as Anwar Ali and Rilee Rossouw kept swinging but failed to make connection.
The Gladiators collected a mere three runs in the last over as United recorded a scarcely believable win.
The win has guaranteed United a berth in the play-offs and they are now placed at number two behind Gladiators, United have eight points from seven games while Gladiators have collected nine from as many games.
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The pair of Shehzad and Pietersen started their alliance with the score at 16 for one as Gladiators went about the task of building a platform for their 166 run chase after the early loss of Asad Shafiq (8).
Shehzad took the attack to the United bowlers initially before Pietersen joined in with some breathtaking shots of his own. Shehzad scored 59 off 50 balls with the help of one six and five fours while Petersen’s 49 ball innings of 69 included three sixes and six fours.
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Gladiators lost Pietersen and Shehzad in quick succession before Sarfraz perished for three runs. Rossouw and Anwar Ali failed to close out the game in their team’s favour.
United who were put into bat by Sarfraz Ahmed built their 165 run total around a fine 56 by young left-handed batsman Hussain Talat. The southpaw arrived at the crease after Dwayne Smith was dismissed for a duck, he struck two sixes and six fours in his 39 ball innings that gave United great momentum for a big score.
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Captain Misbahul Haq (25), Brad Haddin (22) added 41 for the fourth-wicket, Haddin who was dismissed by Hassan Khan struck three fours in his 16 ball innings while Misbah hit one six in his run a ball innings, the United batting stint was given a fitting end by Shane Watson who scored a quick-fire 29 off 16 balls with the help of two sixes and as many fours.
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Gladiators’ all-rounder Anwar Ali gave away 51 runs in his four overs, Zulfiqar Babar bowled four miserly overs conceding a mere 18 runs and claiming two wickets.