Quetta Gladiators set 180 runs target for Islamabad United
Islamabad United have been set a target of 180 runs after deciding to bowl first against Quetta Gladiators at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi on Sunday during the ongoing PSL8.
At one stage, it seemed as if Islamabad would be chasing a significantly low target but Quetta made an impressive comeback in the second half of the innings.
Fazalhaq Farooqi struck in the first over after he trapped Will Smeed, who bagged a golden duck, in front of the stumps.
The Afghanistan pacer clinched his second wicket in the third over of the innings after Yasir Khan, five runs in 11 balls, spooned one straight to Shadab Khan at extra cover.
Quetta captain Sarfaraz Ahmed’s decision to bat at number three also backfired as he was caught brilliantly by Mubasir Khan on the fence while trying to play a pull shot. He scored three runs and fell to Faheem Ashraf.
Soon after, Iftikhar Ahmed (2) also made his way back to the pavilion after presenting a simple catch to Shadab at mid-on as Faheem bagged his second wicket of the match.
With Quetta reeling at 17-4, Mohammad Nawaz and Najibullah Zadran rescued their side with a superb hundred partnership while also notching up fifties.
However, Fazalhaq broke the stand in the 17th over as Nawaz was caught in the deep after scoring 52 runs in 44 balls.
Meanwhile, Zadran was cleaned up by Rumman Raees after scoring 59 runs in 34 balls with the help of five fours and three sixes.
Umar Akmal, who was making a comeback in the side, played a blinder to provide impetus in the death over. The right-hander scored unbeaten 43 runs in only 14 balls.
Quetta Gladiators, who are at the bottom of the points table, are nearly eliminated from PSL 8 since they need to win all their remaining games and hope other results go their way if they’re to get through to the playoffs.
Meanwhile, a win for Islamabad United today will push them into second, just behind the Qalandars from Lahore.