Shane Watson

Shane Watson muscles Quetta Gladiators into final of PSL 2019

By Jawad Hussain

KARACHI, March 13, 2019 ( – Australian all-rounder Shane Watson held his nerves to bowl the tense last over to inspire Quetta Gladiators to a 10-run victory in the Qualifier of Pakistan Super League 2019 at National Stadium in Karachi on Wednesday.

It was a champion-like all-around performance by the Australian all-rounder who first scored a punishing half-century and then bowled that final over where he had to save 21 runs to stop Peshawar Zalmi from reaching the PSL-4 final.

PSL 2019 Playoffs Scenario

With Quetta Gladiators in the final, Peshawar Zalmi will not wait for the outcome of the first Eliminator between Karachi Kings and Islamabad United, to be held at National Stadium in Karachi on March 14 (Thursday). The winner of the First Eliminator will take on Peshawar Zalmi in the Second Eliminator on March 15 (Friday) while the loser of the First Eliminator will take no further part in the tournament.

It all began with a blistering start for the Quetta Gladiators with the Player of the Match Shane Watson (71 runs from 43 balls – 5 fours, 6 sixes) and Ahsan Ali (46 runs from 32 balls – 4 fours, 2 sixes) negating the earliest blow of Ahmed Shehzad (1 run from 4 balls).

Shane Watson and Ahsan Ali Show

The pair of Shane Watson and Ahsan Ali rose to the occasion for the big match. Together they contributed 111 runs in the second wicket that set the perfect foundation for a huge total on the board. Riley Rossouw (11 runs from 6 balls – 2 fours), Umar Akmal (22 runs from 15 balls – 3 fours), Sarfraz Ahmed (12 runs from 11 balls – 1 four), and Dwayne Bravo (12* runs from 7 balls – 2 fours) added precious runs to the total of 6/186 in the death overs.

Wahab Riaz (4-0-26-2) was the pick of the bowlers while Tymal Mills (4-0-21-1) also bowled with immense pace and discipline. On the other hand, Hasan Ali (4-0-39-1), who is the leading wicket-taker in the tournament, had a bad day in the office as he was maltreated by the Gladiators. Liam Dawson (2-0-27-0), Sameen Gul (4-0-46-1), and Kieron Pollard (2-0-24-1) proved way too expensive for the Zalmi.

Peshawar Zalmi in a slumber

In pursuit of the 187-run target, Peshawar Zalmi needed a great start to make a match of it. However, openers Kamran Akmal (22 runs from 26 balls – 4 fours) and Imam-ul-Haq (23 runs from 18 balls – 3 fours) were slow to get off the blocks. This resulted in increased pressure on the other batsmen. Once the opening partnership was broken, it was a procession of wickets for the Gladiators. Sohaib Maqsood (7 runs from 7 balls – 1 four), Misbah-ul-Haq (18 runs from 17 balls – 1 four, 1 six), and Liam Dawson (5 runs from 6 balls) all perished without much ado.

Only when the Peshawar Zalmi were looking down the barrel, it was the West Indian pair of skipper Darren Sammy (46 runs from 21 balls – 2 fours, 5 sixes) and Kieron Pollard (44 runs from 22 balls – 6 fours, 1 six) who almost took the game away from Quetta Gladiators.

That Final Over By Shane Watson

Peshawar Zalmi needed 21 runs from the final over with the West Indian duo still at the crease. The Gladiators were one bowler short after Fawad Ahmed was struck on his face during his second over. Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed requested Shane Watson, who hadn’t bowled even in the nets for the last year or so, to deliver the final over. Pollard first struck Watson for a massive six before losing his furniture on the next delivery as Peshawar Zalmi fell just 10 runs short of the target.

Young Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain (4-1-28-2) was the main destroyer for the Gladiators. Mohammad Nawaz (4-0-25-1) was decent and miser with the new ball inside the power play. Sohail Tanvir (4-0-38-0) bowled well except for his 12 deliveries against the West Indian duo, who hit him with the license to hit out.

Shane Watson proved to be the difference between the Gladiators and the Zalmi.

The First Eliminator of the Pakistan Super League 2019 will be played between Karachi Kings and Islamabad United at National Stadium in Karachi on Thursday. The match will begin at 7:00 p.m. Pakistan Standard Time.

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