Liam Dawson © Getty Images
Liam Dawson © Getty Images

Quetta Gladiators opted to bowl against Peshawar Zalmi in Eliminator 1 of PSL 2018, at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore. With the absence of stars like Shane Watson and Kevin Pietersen, Peshawar managed to post a competitive 157. Quetta did not give it up till the end before losing the nailbiter by 1 run. Mohammad Nawaz and Sarfraz Ahmed held fort for Quetta but fell to Sameen Gul in the same over. Mahmudullah, who had played a vital role in Bangladesh’s victory over Sri Lanka last week, looked set but was bowled by Umaid Asif. Quetta’s last hope Thisara Perera also fell prey to Wahab Riaz in the 19th over.

Liam Dawson had to defend 25 off the last over. It seemed almost impossible, but Anwar Ali decided to do a Dinesh Karthik. The first ball took the top edge and reached the third-man fence, and Anwar dispatched the second over long-on. He edged the next but refused to run off the third — he clearly did not have faith in Mir Hamza — which brought the equation to 15 off 3.

But Anwar’s decision proved correct: he slogged Dawson for a six and lofted him straight for another, and Quetta were left to score 3 off the last ball. To add to the drama, Anwar hit the last ball straight to long on, who dropped it, but immediately recovered and threw it straight to Dawson, who ran out Hamza — sprinting for the second run that would have resulted in a Super Over — at the non-striker’s end.

Earlier in the match, Kamran Akmal, second-highest run-scorer in the tournament, was out for a duck. Tamim Iqbal also found it hard to get the ball away. Dawson took charge, smashing 62 off 35 balls with 6 fours and 4 sixes.

Quetta Gladiators were electric in their field. Thisara took two brilliant catches near the fence. A limping Darren Sammy came at No. 8, and was soon dismissed for 2 by Rahat Ali. Rahat with his extra pace troubled the batsmen and picked up 4 for 16.

Brief Scores: 

Peshawar Zalmi 157 in 20 overs (Liam Dawson 62; Rahat Ali 4 for 16) beat Quetta Gladiators 156 for 9 in 20 overs (Sarfraz Ahmed 35, Mohammad Nawaz 35; Hasan Ali 2 for 21) by 1 run.

Player of the Match: Hasan Ali.