Quetta Gladiators 154 for 5 (Watson 66, Manzoor 63, Maqsood 2-19) beat Karachi Kings 150 for 5 (Delport 62, Naseem 2-17) by five wickets
How the game played out
Shane Watson and Khurram Manzoor punched fifties in an 118-run partnership off a mere 65 balls - Quetta Gladiators' highest stand this season - but it wasn't enough for them to sneak into the semi-finals. Believe it or not, they needed 151 in 3.2 overs to displace Peshawar Zalmi from the fourth spot. In the end, they chased down the target in 16.2 overs to exit the tournament with only crumbs of comfort.
Karachi Kings, who had sealed their semi-finals berth on Saturday, had rested a number of key players, including regular captain Imad Wasim. Umad Asif, Chris Jordan, and Mohammad Amir also were handed breaks and the fringe players sprayed the ball around, but Karachi will be buoyed by Cameron Delport's return to form. The South African was on 18 off 21 balls at one point, but he finished with 62 off 44 balls - his first half-century of PSL 2020.
Hello again, Naseem
Returning to the scene of his memorable spell against Sri Lanka in the longest format, after recovering from an ankle sprain, the 17-year old struck with his second ball. He cranked it up to 145.5kph and hit the off stump of Sharjeel Khan for a duck. He also zipped a few back-of-a-length deliveries across stand-in captain Babar Azam, as did Sohail Khan.
Sohail was rewarded when Iftikhar Ahmed holed out to midwicket as Karachi dawdled to 36 for 2 in the powerplay.
Delport and Walton tee off
Azam may be the No.1 T20I batsman, but even he couldn't get the Quetta bowlers away. After eating up 15 dots, he sliced Australian legspinner Fawad Ahmed to long-off for a 32-ball 34. However, after a scratchy start, Delport found his groove and showed his range. He was particularly severe on Ahmed, taking 22 off 16 balls from him. But the most stunning shot came off seamer Sohail. Delport picked a slower legcutter from off stump and reverse-swatted it away behind point for four. Chadwick Walton also played a fine hand, scoring 26 off 20 balls.Their late blows were central to Karachi touching 150.
The hare and the tortoise
Left-arm seamer Waqas Maqsood had Ahmed Shehzad nicking off second ball of the chase, but Manzoor, playing his first match of the tournament, unleashed a flurry of boundaries in the powerplay. All up, he claimed eight of the 11 boundaries Quetta had struck in the first six overs.
Watson then laid into Arshad Iqbal, creaming him for two sixes and a four in the four in the ninth over, and nearly outscored Manzoor during their stand. In the next over, both batsmen got to the fifties. During the process, Watson became the top six-hitter in the history of the PSL. Then, from 118 for 1, Quetta slid to 139 for 5, but Azam Khan and Mohammad Nawaz hauled them home.
Where the teams stand
Karachi will face Lahore Qalandars in the second semi-final in Lahore on Tuesday while Quetta will go back wondering what might have been had they got their act together much earlier.