Peshawar Zalmi 143 for 5 (Tamim 36, Sammy 16*) beat Quetta Gladiators 141 for 8 (Watson 47, Wahab 2-16, Asif 2-18) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
In a nutshell
Darren Sammy doesn't need to lift a finger to guarantee his place on the immortality shelf as far as the Pakistan Super League was concerned. But the Peshawar captain's heroics, hobbling out to bat on one leg, ensured he has taken pride of place on that shelf for the foreseeable future.
Sammy hammered 16 off only four balls and propelled his side to a victory they looked to have all but squandered. Chasing 142, Peshawar had seemed on course for much of the innings, led by a disciplined - if a little sedate - 54-run partnership between Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Hafeez. But with 35 required off the last five, the partnership was broken, and suddenly the chase went into disarray. The equation turned very quickly turned into 16 off the last 7 when Sammy, who was injured while bowling, dragged himself out to the crease.
It turned out his devastating physical power was undiminished, as he smashed two sixes off his first two balls, before a straight drive in the final over saw Peshawar clinch victory with two balls to spare.
Quetta Gladiators will rue an innings that kept stuttering at crucial points, beginning with a disappointing Powerplay, before Shane Watson hit Mohammad Asghar for three sixes in an over to breathe some life into his side. He hit five sixes in a 32-ball 47, but after he was dismissed, no one apart from Rilee Rossouw was able to kick on, with 19-year old seamer Sameen Gul - in for an injured Hasan Ali - enjoying a stellar debut. Wahab Riaz was at his all too infrequent best, bowling yorkers at up to 150 kph and preventing Quetta from teeing off in the death overs. It turned out every one of those runs saved made a massive difference.
Where the match was won
Sammy will grab the headlines, and well he might, but in the wake of the defeat, Quetta will want to look at a strange approach to their batting Powerplay. Gul and Umaid Asif were opening the bowling for Peshawar - hardly repositories of experience. If Watson and Asad Shafiq, both of whom have been around the block, had taken the attack to them with only two fielders out, it might have tested the young bowlers' temperament a bit more. Gul and Asif's eight overs went for only 38 runs and fetched two wickets too, but in truth, they were allowed to settle into rhythm. By seven overs, Quetta had scored only 33 runs. That wouldn't be par for any course, but on this Sharjah strip with the small boundaries, it was bound to cost them.
The men that won it
One would be hard-pressed to look past Peshawar's talismanic captain here. After Mohammad Asghar had been smashed for 21 runs by Shane Watson in the eighth over, Sammy - a reluctant bowler these days - decided he would have a spell. He got rid of Umar Amin in his first over, and all told, his figures read 2.4-0-21-2. He was forced off by a calf injury, but he had made a massive contribution in keeping the Gladiators below 150.
For all of his, and everyone else's good work, though, it looked like the defending champions had bottled it at the end. The boundaries had been drying up perniciously, and suddenly 7 per over became 22 off the last two, with no experienced, specialist batsmen remaining. It was uncertain whether Sammy would come out to bat, and when he finally did to front up, it looked like a daft idea. The man could barely walk, scoring at over two runs per ball against Rahat Ali and Anwar Ali was rarely the preserve of able-bodied cricketers. However, two sixes and a four later, every jaw in Sharjah had dropped, and another chapter embellishing Sammy in the PSL had swiftly been written.
Anwar Ali's rotten day
Wahab was at his fearsome best at the death, and Anwar Ali can't have been looking forward to facing him in the 20th over. But first up, Wahab bowled one right in the slot, and the lower-order batsman caught it clean in the middle of the bat. It sailed over the boundary for six, briefly raising hopes of a strong finish. But unbeknownst to most, Anwar's heel had nudged off stump, and one of the bails shuffled in its slot before popping out, a brilliant flash of electronic red the tell-tale sign. The importance of every run in this nail-biting game would not have been lost on Anwar, particularly after Sammy smashed him for a six and a four in the final over to wrench victory from his side.
Where they stand
Quetta and Peshawar each have two wins in four after today's breathless finish, and sit third and fourth on the table respectively, separated only by net run-rate.