Quetta Gladiators move to second with convincing win over Islamabad United
Quetta Gladiators 135-4 (Pietersen 48) beat
Islamabad United 134-7 (Ronchi 43) by six wickets
9th game, Pakistan Super League, Sharjah
The win has taken Quetta Gladiators to the second position in the table while Islamabad United are struck at fifth position.
Quetta won the toss and decided to bowl first and they got to a terrific start with Anwar Ali (1-13) and Rahat Ali (1-18) accounted for Chadwick Walton (8) and Asif Ali (6) and were reduced to 28 for two in the first five overs.
Though Luke Ronchi (43) ensured Islamabad ended the powerplay on high when he hit John Hastings (1-36) for three boundaries and a six on what was the former Austrian international's PSL debut.
However, Ronchi could not carry on his blitz as he was castled by Hasan Khan (1-12) a couple of overs later and Islamabad reached 70 for three at the halfway mark. Misbah ul Haq (22) announced his arrival in this edition of PSL with a six off Hasan but Quetta applied a brake on the scoring rate, as Islamabad managed just 33 runs in the next seven overs and also lost a couple of key wickets.
Faheem Ashraf (21) with his 13-ball cameo provided the late flourish in an innings that hardly had any momentum in the second half and Islamabad United set a target of 135 for Quetta Gladiators.
Asad Shafiq (22) and Shane Watson (13) provided a blistering start to the chase scoring 31 runs in the first 20 deliveries before both along with Umar Amin (6) fell in successive overs. Steven Finn (3-35) picked two out of the three wickets with Mohammad Sami (1-22) snaring the other.
The blitz from Watson came after he was handed a reprieve when he was caught off Rumman Raees (0-11) only to find the latter had overstepped.
Any chance of an Islamabad comeback was put off by Pietersen (48) and Mohammad Nawaz (21 not out) with the former plundering four boundaries and three sixes to take them to course of victory.
Even though Finn did manage to remove his former England team-mate, Quetta went on to complete the chase in 17.1 overs with six wickets in hand. Pietersen was named the man of the match for top-scoring with 48 in a game dominated by the bowlers.
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