Quetta Gladiators found themselves on the wrong side of the result once again in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final, as Peshawar Zalmi collected a comprehensive 58-run victory to lift the title at the Gaddafi Stadium on Sunday (March 6).
The cricket-starved Lahore crowd witnessed a clinical performance from Peshawar Zalmi, the most consistent team of the tournament, as they cruised to victory to make their PSL 2017 campaign a success. Quetta collected runners-up medal for the second time in a row, as they failed to adapt to a low, sluggish surface to hand Zalmi an easy triumph.
Chasing 149 for the title, Quetta bundled out for just 90, as their batsmen perished to extravagant shots one after the other. Gladiators batting implosion saw half of their side back in the hut with just 37 on the board in 7.2 overs. The similar pattern followed in rest of the match, as Quetta could not really recover from the hole they had dug themselves in during the first half of their innings.
Mohammad Asghar was the pick of the bowlers for Peshawar, as his flat-trajectory deliveries earned him figures of 3-16. Hasan Ali was exceptional with his pace and seam movement off the surface.
Earlier, Kamran Akmal(40) and David Malan(17) got Peshawar off to a brisk Start, as they raced away to 41 in just four overs. But once the spinners were brought on by Sarfraz, the run flow stopped drastically. Quetta spinners made good use of they dry, cracked surface, as they chipped in with regular wickets to make sure Peshawar is not let off the hook in the middle part of the innings.
Rayad Emrit, who was roped in just for the final match as a replacement player, struck twice in the 17th over to put Quetta in a driving seat. But a late blitz from Darren Sammy(28) helped Zalmi steal 33 off the final two overs, as Peshawar posted a competitive 148 on the board.
Peshawar Zalmi 148 for 6 (Kamran Akmal 40, Sammy 28*, Emrit 3-31, Hasan Khan 2-34) beat Quetta Gladiators 90 (Asghar 3-16, Hasan Ali 2-13, Wahab 2-13) by 58 runs
“Lala (Afridi) made a big announcement that I’m going to be the captain for this season and it means a lot to me. Owners and coach are very instrumental in our successful campaign. Today it’s more than just cricket. To have the final in Lahore is just amazing. We thought that 150-165 would be a good total. Our bowlers took wickets in the powerplay. There was a lot of hard work and planning which paid off on the big day. Peshawar franchise is not a cricket team, it’s more than that . Lot has been discussed before the final and I’m glad I’m here and Peshawar came out on top. Cricket was the winner today….” Darren Sammy — captain Peshawar Zalmi said.
“We started well, but couldn’t keep the momentum going. The total was very much chaseable, but we lost too many wickets up front. Congratulations to Peshawar Zalmi, they are the better team today. We didn’t have our key players for the final, but the boys put a spirited performance. I want to thank all the fans for coming and supporting us.” Sarfraz Ahmed — captain Quetta Gladiators said.