After being dropped from the T20 International (T20I) series against South Africa, Mohammad Hafeez responds with two consecutive match-winning knocks in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021. His first knock was a composed 33 not out in the first match against Peshawar Zalmi and the next came on Monday (February 22) against Quetta Gladiators in which he scored an explosive 73 not out off just 33 balls to help Lahore Qalandars to a comfortable nine-wicket victory, chasing a stiff target of 179.
Qalandars now have two wins in two, while the Gladiators have lost both their encounters in the tournament so far.
Along with Fakhar Zaman, Hafeez put on an unbeaten stand of 115 off just 58 deliveries for the second wicket, after the former had put on 64 for the opening wicket with skipper Sohail Akhtar (21). Zaman, who was out cheaply in the first game, played sensibly in the powerplay on Monday to set the platform and once he was set, he took toll on the bowlers. The Gladiators did not have a particularly good day on the field, dropping a couple of easy catches. But Lahore were not particularly good themselves, letting Chris Gayle off the hook on a couple of occasions on his way to a 40-ball 68.
Gayle and Sarfaraz Ahmed (40) put on 111 for the third wicket after Gladiators were reduced to 12 for 2 early in the match to help their side post a good total on the board. Mohammad Nawaz too cashed in on some poor bowling in the end to score an unbeaten 20-ball 33, which further threatened to take the game away from Qalandars. His knock helped the Gladiators score 59 runs in the final five overs, which set up a competitive total. Haris Rauf was the pick of the bowlers for Gladiators, finishing with 3 for 38 from his four overs.
Quetta will look to register their first win of he season in the next game when they take on Peshawar Zalmi on Friday (February 26) and on the same day Qalandars play Multan Sultans – both at National Stadium, Karachi.
Quetta Gladiators 178 for 6 in 20 overs (Chris Gayle 68, Sarfaraz Ahmed 40; Haris Rauf 3 for 38) lost to Lahore Qalandars 179 for 1 in 18.2 overs (Fakhar Zaman 82*, Mohammad Hafeez 73*; Zahid Mahmood 1 for 28) by 9 wickets.
Player of the match: Fakhar Zaman