It was the clash of the Titans - two-time runners-up Quetta Gladiators and the defending champions Peshawar Zalmi locked horns in Sharjah. The last time these two teams met here, it was Quetta who edged past in a thriller by one run.
Today was no different: Peshawar Zalmi needed ten from the last over. The injured Darren Sammy came out to bat when his team needed 17 from 9. It was a gamble considering Sammy’s inability to take singles due to injury, but he didn’t care. He came out to bat for his team. His team needed this win and he made sure they got it, that too in style! Sammy smashed sixteen off just four balls to give Zalmi their second win of the season and their fourth win over Gladiators overall.
Zalmi were on course to win the match comfortably -- Hafeez and Tamim Iqbal had paved the way with their partnership of 54. All Zalmi needed was 35 off the last five overs. It was at this point when the match swung Quetta’s way. From being 107 for 2, they were reduced to 125 for 5 courtesy brilliant bowling and fielding by Quetta. Sarfraz Ahmed’s decision to give Anwar Ali the last over was questionable considering Mohammed Nawaz still had an over left. He was the hero in the 1 run thriller between these two teams last year.
Earlier, Quetta Gladiators set a target of 142. They had many chances to accelerate but kept losing wickets at crucial junctures. Shane Watson was the highest scorer with a 32-ball 47. Zalmi’s debutant seamer Sameen Gul took a wicket and gave away just 20 runs. At one point, Quetta seemed like scoring in access of 170 but Zalmi’s bowling attack kept them in check.