Pakistan Super League 2016 February 19, 2016

Quetta through to final after one-run win

ESPNcricinfo staff

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'We have no grumpy faces' - Shehzad

Quetta Gladiators 133 (Pietersen 53, Sangakkara 37, Wahab 3-17) beat Peshawar Zalmi 132 for 9 (Sammy 38, Elliott 3-19, Nawaz 3-27) by one run
Scorecard and ball-by-ball detail

The first qualifier of the inaugural Pakistan Super League was a nail-biting affair and came down to the last ball, with Quetta Gladiators holding their nerve to clinch a one-run win and leave their opponents Peshawar Zalmi heartbroken. Victory for Quetta secured their berth in Tuesday's final in Dubai, while Peshawar will have a chance to make amends for their close defeat in the third and last qualifier, against either Karachi Kings or Islamabad United.

After 39 overs of entertaining cricket at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Peshawar were left needing eight runs from six balls; Quetta required three wickets. Darren Sammy, who had blown new life into Peshawar's chase, had just been dismissed and the edge - albeit a slight one - was with Quetta.

A dot off the first ball of the over, bowled by Aizaz Cheema, titled the contest further Quetta's way. However, Wahab Riaz seemed to emerge an unlikely hero for Peshawar, slamming the second ball - a low full toss outside off - over cow corner for four. He then proceeded to take a single. Three needed off three, and it was anybody's game.

Cheema, though, drastically turned the fate of the match with his next two deliveries. First, Hasan Ali was out caught and bowled. Then, Wahab swung wildly in an attempt to finish the game, but ended up skying the ball straight to Ahmed Shehzad at point. Cheema was on a hat-trick, and Mohammad Asghar, the new man in, had the unenviable task of striking the last ball for at least three. Cheema did not get his hat-trick, but more importantly, Asghar was unable to put the bowler's rising short ball away. Quetta, led by their mentor Viv Richards broke into wild celebrations, while the Peshawar players struggled to hide their disappointment.

That the game had even gotten so close was courtesy Darren Sammy's 38-run blast, which lifted Peshawar from a precarious position of 84 for 6 in the 15th over. Quetta, who had only 133 to defend with, were led by three-wicket hauls from both Grant Elliott (3 for 19) and Man of the Match Mohammad Nawaz (3 for 27). Nawaz accounted for the key scalps of Brad Hodge, Mohammad Hafeez and Sammy, before Cheema's heroics at the end completed the memorable victory.

Quetta had earlier made a horror start after being inserted, losing their opener Bismillah Khan off the second ball. Ahmed Shehzad fell soon after, but Kumar Sangakkara and Kevin Pietersen strung together a 79-run partnership to lead a recovery. Pietersen blasted 53 off 38 balls with five fours and two sixes, while Nawaz also pitched in with what eventually proved to be a very handy 20 runs. Wahab Riaz was the pick of Peshawar's bowlers, taking 3 for 17 to bundle Quetta out for what at the time seemed like a below-par 133. Nawaz and Cheema, though, ensured that the total was enough, just.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Muhammad on February 20, 2016, 13:10 GMT

    Passion For Cricket Reborn

  •   Rizwan Saeed on February 20, 2016, 12:04 GMT

    Love you psl ,enjoying every moment of it.

  • Tabrez on February 20, 2016, 11:58 GMT

    I was supporting Quetta and they won, it was such an interesting match that we could not avoid a single ball of this match

  •   Haris Soomro on February 20, 2016, 9:23 GMT

    Watch Out this is PSL, good to see nail biting contest :)

  •   Axhar Iqbal on February 20, 2016, 9:05 GMT

    Peshawar Zalmi was my favorite due to LALA.. But boy, this man Sarfaraz really know how to run a team. He knows how to use his players and keep his calm. I vote for him for next captain of Pakistan. LALA is aggressive but sometime he makes blunder decisions.

  • Shahid on February 20, 2016, 8:59 GMT

    What a Neal-Biter was ! Suspense until end. Gladiators real deserve this. I remember before starting of PSL mostly Cricket watcher and Cricket Pandits underestimate Quetta Gladiators but they prove them wrong. RESPECT FOR SIR VIVAN RICHARDS AND BEST OF LUCK QUETTA GLADIATORS FOR A BIG FINAL.

  •   Faraz Baloch on February 20, 2016, 7:46 GMT

    I think Quetta should get Luke Wright in for the final in place of nathan macculum to provide them a solid start besides he can also bowl few medium pace overs. they didnt use nathan macculum in bowling so why not put their batting strong as bismillah khan opening the innings experiment didn't work you need a proper hard hitting batsmen..kindly Quetta consider this.

  • Khurram S Chaudhry on February 20, 2016, 7:40 GMT

    great game. well bowled both teams. in batting it was mostly a fight for worst batting title. and both made sure they got it. bowling has been superb. Cheema was poor early on but repeated his last over heroics. Wahab and Sammy brought zalmi close but failed at wrong time. Nawaz has been a real find of PSL and looking good for wt20 squad. QG need to bring inform Luke . they can bring him for N Mac as he didnt bowled any way. Anwar bowled well. great to see how much involved Sir Viv is with QG. i hope PCb gets him for Pak team.

  • RANA on February 20, 2016, 7:04 GMT

    This shows the success of PSL and its mangement.The auction was superb players were divided into categories and were available for every team at the same price and they pick players of their choice.This is quaility cricket in PSL.Hope ZALMI wins Qualifier and entertain us with such a good game again.Best of luck Quetta and PSL.

  • zahoor on February 20, 2016, 7:01 GMT

    nice game I love watching this league. This is one of the best leagues. great to find some new talents.........