that will be that! Banged into the track on middle and off stump. Hasnain has a swipe at it but is at least a week late on the stroke. In the end, the ball pings off the splice and Farooqi completes an easy return catch!
11:01pm Right. That will be that from us for tonight. Hope you enjoyed our coverage as much as we enjoyed bringing it to. Until next time, this is me (Shashwat) signing off on behalf of Thilak and everyone else at ESPNcricinfo! Goodbye, goodnight and take care!
Shadab Khan, Islamabad United captain: The way Azam batted today, I have not seen an innings of this kind. We know this is his calibre and we believe he can do this consistently. We are very happy. He is the son of a former cricketer so he has to handle a lot of pressure. The way he is performing, despite the pressure, is a good sign for us. In T20, you have more bad days than good. We have created a team in such a way that we have maximum match-winners. We look at match-ups and data. We tried to test our players and that is why I won the toss and elected to bat. All of our bowlers bowled well in a game where almost 400 runs were scored. I give more importance to my gut feeling (than data), and always back it (my gut feeling).
Azam Khan is the Player of the Match, here is what he has to say: It can be one of my best T20 innings. Playing in the middle order, you do not get a lot of balls to set yourself. I had to go there and be positive today. I think it is all because of my dad. He has made me mentally tough. It is not easy being the son of a former cricketer in this country. I think he must be really happy but a bit sad as well because his team lost. When you are inside the rope, you can't play for the relation. I am sure he will be happy for me and good luck to them for the rest of the games. (On what he thinks makes him successful) I think it is all about the mindset and what I believe in. I usually go for range hitting and I can check my shots if they are clearing the boundary or not.
Sarfaraz Ahmed, Quetta Gladiators captain: I was not expecting the sort of innings Azam played. The way he played in the end was very outstanding. A lot of his sixes were off good balls and I can't praise him enough for it. We did not execute our plans in the last four overs. When you have such a big score in front of you, and when your top three batters get out, it becomes difficult. We have a 4-5 day gap and we will talk to the boys, field better, bowl well and bat a lot better.
Asif Ali: (On his partnership with Azam) I would like to congratulate everyone at Islamabad United for winning the game. We discussed about seeing what the ball was doing for an over or two and that we would back ourselves to hit the ball that were pitched in our areas. The idea is to go after the deliveries that land in our arc. Even if we mishit them, it is not a problem. This is my eighth season and our unity, even among those who are sitting outside, is beautiful. Those watching also laud our unity and it only happens when we are happy for one another and we back each other. I have played a lot under Shadab, and my best wishes are with him always.
10:39pm That turned into a one-sided contest in the end. The Gladiators were rocked early, with Guptill, Roy and Smeed all departing inside the powerplay. Hafeez threatened for a bit but the game slid further away from the Gladiators post his dismissal. Sarfaraz scored a few runs but his approach was quite puzzling, especially considering the required run-rate. Ifitikhar, too, struck a couple of lusty blows but it was too little, too late by then.
As for Islamabad, well, they would be happy with the way they bowled. Hasan was a touch expensive but ended up picking three wickets. The star of the bowling show, though, was Abrar, who gave away only 21 runs and dented the Gladiators inside the powerplay. Shadab also produced a double-wicket over in the 16th and bowled with good control on a flat track. The result means that the Gladiators are firmly rooted to the foot of the table; Islamabad, meanwhile, are now breathing down Multan's necks at the perch.
full and outside off stump. Patted into the off side by Aimal
yorker on middle and off stump. Aimal gets his bat down in time and keeps it out
Aimal is the last man in
two in two for Hasan Ali! Back of a length delivery on middle and leg stump. Naseem has a wild slog at it and misses the ball by a mile. It then topples into the top of middle stump, and Hasan, all of the sudden, is on a hat-trick now!
holes out to long off! Full toss outside off stump that ought to have been punished. But tonight, even that gets hit straight down long off's throat. Iftikhar might have been a little late on the stroke, but can't do anything now as he trudges back to the pavilion! The Gladiators are eight down!
full toss outside off stump. Iftikhar sits back in his crease and heaves it down the ground. No run taken again
slower delivery dug into the track outside off stump. Iftikhar loses his shape completely and clogs it towards deep mid wicket. Denies the single too because, well, why not
SalmanKhan: "If Iftikhar is Iftimania, what would Azam Khan be?" -- AzamMania has a nice ring to it,eh?
back of a length delivery outside off stump. Iftikhar goes back and taps it towards deep point for just another single
back of a length delivery outside off stump. Iftikhar stands up on his toes and flat-bats it towards extra cover, where the fielder misfields and allows the second
back of a length delivery outside off stump. Hasnain swings too hard at it and drags it towards deep mid wicket
Shaheer : "Naseem has a strike rate of 600 against Farooqi, everyone would love to see that match-up here. " -- Not sure if Naseem can win the game for his team in the final over tonight, though
banged into the track on leg stump. Hasnain gets underneath it and the umpire calls it a wide
slower bumper outside off stump. Iftikhar jumps up onto his toes and cuts it towards deep point for one more run
full and wide outside off stump. Iftikhar gives it everything he has and slashes it over short third man for four
very full delivery just outside off stump. Iftikhar goes deep into his crease and drills it down the ground for a couple of runs
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that goes to the moon, but ends up in long on's palms! Full delivery outside off stump. Smith looks to smack it into oblivion but gets it right off the toe end. The ball comes down with snow on it and when it does, long on is well position to gobble it up!
very full delivery outside off stump. Iftikhar hangs back and powers it down the ground towards long off for a single
length delivery outside off stump. Iftikhar leaves it alone and Hassan will have to reload that one. The bowler is not happy because Iftikhar took a step across his stumps!
low full toss outside off stump. Iftikhar winds up and drills it straight back to the bowler, who somehow gets his boot in the way. That might sting, though
six more! Dug into the track outside off stump. Iftikhar gets on top of the bounce and mauls it 91 metres over cow corner!
back of a length delivery outside off stump. Iftikhar sits deep in his crease and flat-bats it towards extra cover
Amit: "Any Cricketing explanation for Sarfaraz's innings? Not running hard, no intent to play shots? Injured or something?" -- He could not come to grips with the pace of the surface and his innings was perplexing, to say the least
|National Stadium, Karachi|
|Toss||Islamabad United, elected to bat first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Match days||24 February 2023 - night (20-over match)|
|Points||Islamabad United 2, Quetta Gladiators 0|
Over 20 • QG 157/10