Shan Masood’s superb 42-ball 73, followed by an outstanding performance from the bowlers helped Multan Sultans smash Quetta Gladiators by 110 runs in Match 25 of the Pakistan Super League 2021 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (June 16). This defeat confirmed an end to Gladiators’ race for a playoff berth.
The left-handed opener smashed seven fours and four sixes and dominated the Gladiators bowlers after their captain Sarfaraz Ahmed decided to bowl. Masood scripted a handsome 72-run opening stand with his captain Mohammad Rizwan, who made 23-ball 21, and later knitted 37 runs with Johnson Charles, who hammered 47 runs at almost two runs-a-ball.
The West Indies international struck five fours and two sixes in his 24-ball innings before he became pacer Khurram Shahzad’s second wicket. Khurram delivered the first blow in the ninth over when Rizwan played on the right-armer. Sohaib Maqsood, who came into the match in prime form, could not spend much time at the crease as he was bowled by Zahir Khan in the next over, but the middle-order batsman took a fantastic diving catch at deep point to seal the win for his team.
Gladiators – rolled out for a paltry 73 in 12.1 overs – stuttered in the run chase from the word go and they lost three batsmen in the first six overs. Imran Khan’s double strikes in the fourth over sent dangerous-looking Jake Weatherald and Cameron Delport back to the pavilion. Opener Usman Khan had a mix-up with his captain in the last powerplay over and was run out at the non-striker’s end.
Azam Khan was caught behind in the eighth over and Sarfaraz walked back on the penultimate ball of the ninth to leave Gladiators reeling at 59 for 5. Imran Tahir then skittled the tail and finished with 3/7 from two overs – one of which was maiden.
Every Sultans’ bowler chipped in with Blessing Muzarabani, Sohail Tanvir and Shahnawaz Dahani, fresh from a four-fer, taking one wicket each.
(With inputs from PSL release)