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'This is how big players are made' - Nawaz

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WATCH - Nawaz's unbelievable last over (0:50)

Defending six runs in the final over, and after conceding a four off the second ball, Mohammad Nawaz triggered a Peshawar Zalmi slide to seal the game for Quetta Gladiators (0:50)

Mohammad Nawaz was having a rough night with the ball in Sharjah. The three overs he had bowled until the 20th had already gone for 46. Excessive dew meant he could barely grip the ball and it hadn't helped that he was bowling one-over spells. There had been moments of smartness - the key dismissal of Mohammad Hafeez was one, and without the ball the catch to dismiss Shahid Afridi was, in hindsight, the moment the game turned.

But he had already conceded four sixes and three fours, thus defending six off this final over, with a two-time World T20I winner on strike, could only produce an unhappy ending.

Leaving him, or the rookie left-arm spinner Hasan Khan (3-0-36-0) with the last over, in fact, had seemed like a mistake. And when Tymal Mills' valiant but unsuccessful effort at short third man off the second ball actually helped the ball along to the boundary, the game was done. Except it wasn't.

Nawaz conceded a single off the next four balls. He dismissed Chris Jordan first, a flatter, quicker delivery that found the edge and which Sarfraz Ahmed did well to hold on to. And then two inch-perfect yorkers in succession forced two run-outs, allowing Quetta to pull off a sensational one-run win - a margin replicating last year's playoff win over the same opponents.

"There was a lot of pressure, the way the ball had been coming on to the bat and how wet it was," Nawaz told Geo TV. "But our plan was to bowl the first three balls outside off and break it away."

Once the equation came down to two off three, the plan changed. Among others, Kevin Pietersen, playing his last game of the tournament, suggested going for yorkers.

"KP said on the fifth ball 'just bowl a yorker'. It came out perfect. On the last ball a few said bowl length, some said go for the yorker. But we agreed to bowl a yorker and they just came out perfect.

"I had a lot going through my mind at the time. But I was also calm, thinking I could do this."

Nawaz was one of the poster boys of the PSL's first season, the very reason such a league was created in the first place - to bring to the fore young players like him and turn them into big-game players.

He was the third-highest wicket-taker last year and his 13 wickets included arguably the ball of the tournament: a delicious, orthodox spinner that undid Brad Hodge, incidentally also in the playoff win over Peshawar.

Finding his feet with Pakistan has not been as simple, in any of the formats, even with their desperate search for any kind of allrounder. But bowling an over like this - all of it to international cricketers - can be an important developmental landmark.

"Absolutely, this is one of the best overs I have bowled. In such a big match, on this pitch, with so much dew. Especially after that kind of over I can't help but feel pretty confident.

"This is how big players are made, when they perform in big matches like this. This is only the start of my career, but in future I hope to learn more from it and keep performing."