Mohammad Nawaz's final over takes Quetta Gladiators to final of PSL
Quetta Gladiators 200-7 (Shehzad 71) beat
Peshawar Zalmi 199-9 (Hafeez 77) by one run
First Qualifying Final, Pakistan Super League, Sharjah
Mohammad Nawaz bowled a splendid final over defending six runs as Quetta Gladiators booked a berth in the final of the Pakistan Super League after defeating Peshawar Zalmi in the play-off by just one run in Sharjah.
Peshawar Zalmi will now have to compete in the third qualifying final with either Karachi Kings or defending champions Islamabad United to make it to the final which is expected to be played in Lahore.
Peshawar Zalmi won the toss and decided to field first. Luke Wright (12) and Ahmed Shehzad (71) started the innings positively with five boundaries and a six combined in the first 15 deliveries. However, in the final delivery of the former, Wright was castled by Hasan Ali (1-41).
In the fifth over of the game, Kevin Pietersen (40) survived a review for LBW appeal. DRS has been in place for the play-off and final stages of the tournament. With a six to square leg, Pietersen helped Gladiators end the powerplay at 59 for one and with two more maximums in the next over, he also reached 200 sixes in the shortest format.
The onslaught continued from Quetta as Shehzad plundered two more sixes and a boundary in the eighth over, bringing his own fifty as well as the 50-run stand with Pietersen.
Darren Sammy (1-18) was also not spared by Shehzad, who hit him for two more sixes in the 10th over but the former West Indian captain got his revenge after having him caught at long off. At the halfway stage, Quetta Gladiators were 121 for two.
From there on, the innings lacked momentum and were hampered by regular fall of wickets. Anwar Ali's (20) 10-ball cameo provided some respite as Quetta ended their innings at 200 for seven.
Anwar (1-25) started the innings with a brilliant first over, conceding just one run and Peshawar Zalmi lost both Kamran Akmal (1) and Marlon Samuels (0) in the second over bowled by Zulfiqur Babar (1-28).
Dawid Malan (56) and Mohammad Hafeez (77) provided some momentum to the innings as they ended the powerplay at 38 for two. The duo went severe on Nawaz (3-51), hitting him for 19 runs in the seventh over and at the halfway mark, the target was down to 115 runs.
Hafeez completed a terrific 36-ball fifty with three sixes in the 12th over while Malan reached his own half-century off just 25 balls as they need 70 runs of the final seven overs.
The 139-run stand finally ended with Nawaz having Hafeez caught at sweeper cover while Tymal Mills (1-45) returned back to have Malan caught and bowled.
Just when the pressure was building, Shahid Afridi (34) played a 13-ball blinder of innings which included four sixes and a boundary to bring down the target to seven runs off as many deliveries but was dismissed by Anwar in the final ball of the penultimate over.
Nawaz conceded five runs off the first three deliveries but managed three wickets in the final three balls with two being run outs as Peshawar Zalmi ended the game with a one-run defeat. Shehzad was given the man of the match award for his blistering knock.
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