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Karachi, 15 March 2020: Quetta Gladiators finished their HBL PSL 2020 campaign with a five-wicket win over Karachi Kings at the National Stadium on Sunday.
After their fourth win of the tournament, Gladiators, the defending champions, were tied with Peshawar Zalmi on nine points, but couldn’t secure a semi-final berth due to a low net run rate.
Shane Watson and Khurram Manzoor, who was playing his first HBL PSL 2020 match, scored half-centuries and added 118 runs for the second wicket as Gladiators chased down the 151-run target with 22 balls spare.
Watson scored 66 off 34 balls, in which he smashed seven fours and four sixes, while Khurram made a 40-ball 63, studded with nine fours and a six. For his match-winning knock, Watson was named man of the match.
The dismissal of Khurram in the 12th over by Waqas Maqsood, who had sent Ahmed Shehzad (zero) back in the hut on the second ball of the run chase, sparked a collapse as Gladiators slipped to 139 for five from 118 for one.
Pacer Arshad Iqbal (3.2-0-37-2) removed Watson and Ben Cutting on the first two balls of the 15th over.
But Azam Khan (12 not out) and Mohammad Nawaz (eight not out) held their nerves to take Gladiators over the line.
Earlier, Cameron Delport’s 44-ball 62, which included five fours and two sixes, helped Kings to 150 for five in 20 overs.
The left-handed batsman stitched a 73-run stand for the fourth wicket with Chadwick Walton (26 off 20).
Babar Azam was the other notable contributor with the bat for Kings as he scored 32 off 34 and put up partnerships worth 30 and 42 with Iftikhar Ahmed (21 off 17) and Delport after Shajeel Khan was bowled by Naseem Shah on the second ball of the match.
With the dismissal of Walton on the last ball of the penultimate over, Naseem finished with two wickets for just 17 runs in four over, while Sohail Khan, Fawad Ahmed and Mohammad Hasnain picked up a wicket each.
The two semi-finals will be played on Tuesday, 17 March, at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. In the first semi-final, which begins at 2pm, table-toppers Multan Sultans face Peshawar Zalmi, while arch-rivals Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars will lock horns at 7pm.
Scores in brief:
Karachi Kings 150-5, 20 overs (Cameron Delport 62, Babar Azam 32, Chadwick Walton 26, Iftikhar Ahmed 21; Naseem Shah 2-17)
Quetta Gladiators 154-5, 16.2 overs (Shane Watson 66, Khurram Manzoor 63; Waqas Maqsood 2-19, Arshad Iqbal 2-37)
Result Quetta Gladiators win by five wickets