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HBL PSL T20: Quetta Gladiators unbeaten, Islamabad United win thriller

By Cricket Correspondent

On a day of nail-biting encounters, Pakistan Super League's (PSL) dark horses Quetta Gladiators defeated favourites Peshawar Zalmi by three wickets on Sunday to remain unbeaten in the tournament.

Chasing 136 for victory, Quetta needed seven off the last over when Zimababwe's Elton Chigumbura smashed Peshawar's Wahab Riaz for a boundary to bring Sarfraz Ahmed's side home with three wickets to spare.

Earlier, Darren Sammy's blistering 31-ball 48 propelled Zalmi to 135.

Left-arm spin sensation Mohammad Nawaz was the pick of the bowlers for Quetta with figures of 4-29-3 and was ably supported by Umar Gul who chipped in with two wickets.

In the chase, Quetta's dashing opening pair of Ahmed Shehzad and Luke Wright put 35 inside 4 overs before both were dismissed.

Zalmi captain Shahid Afridi accounted for Wright while Aussie paceman Shaun Tait snapped up Shehzad.

England discard and T20 superstar Kevin Pietersen then compiled 35 off 29 balls to add impetus to the Quetta chase of which the finishing touches were added by Anwar Ali and Chigumbura.

Nawaz was once again awarded the man of the match for his brilliant spell.

Quetta innings

Quetta Gladiators kept their nerve to defeat Peshawar Zalmi by three wickets with a ball to spare in Dubai on Sunday night to remain unbeaten in the PSL.

Chasing a target of 136, former England star Kevin Pietersen (35) held the innings together before tail-enders Chigumbura and Ali wagged to seal their third win of the tournament.

Afridi and Riaz claimed two wickets apiece as Zalmi made a valiant bid to stall the Gladiators.

Chigumbura wallops a short pitched delivery from Riaz for a boundary while the winning single is a leg bye.

Gladiators need 7 off the last over bowled by Riaz.

Anwar has almost sealed the game for Gladiators by whacking Tait for a massive six. Gladiators 129-7, 19 overs.

Afridi takes a stinging low catch as Pietersen slices it. Gladiators 118-7, 17-5 overs.

Kevin Pietersen c Afridi b Junaid Khan 35 (29b 2x4 1x6)

Riaz strikes as Nabi fends a short pitched delivery by gloving it. Gladiators 116-6, 16.5 overs.

Mohammad Nabi c Kamran Akmal b Wahab Riaz 9 (9b 1x4)

Pietersen cracks Riaz through the covers for a delightful boundary.

Pietersen carves a boundary on the off through a minute gap with a beautifully timed shot. Gladiators 109-5, 16 overs.

Asghar strikes soon after the break having Rehman stumped. Gladiators 96-5, 14.2 overs.

Akbar-ur-Rehman st Kamran Akmal b Asghar 11 (11b 1x4)

Riaz has the last laugh after being hit for a boundary by Nawaz. Gladiators 79-4, 11.5 overs.

Afridi strikes picking up his opposite number. Gladiators 73-3, 10.4 overs.

Sarfraz Ahmed c Malan b Afridi 21 (24b 2x4)

Pietersen whacks the longest six of the PSL sending Junaid sailing for 99 metres.Gladiators 59-2, 8 overs.

Sarfraz shrugs off a run out scare by pulling Riaz to square leg for a boundary. Gladiators 44-2, 6 overs.

Afridi strikes with one that straightened as Wright swings and misses. Gladiators 35-2, 4.4 overs.

Luke Wright b Afridi 16 (16b 2x4)

Tait strikes as Shehzad is undone by the pace and bounce to nick it behind. Gladiators 35-1, 3.5 overs.

Ahmed Shehzad c Kamran Akmal b Tait 16 (11b 1x4 1x6)

Wright not to be outdone picks up a couple of boundaries off Tait.

Shehzad sizzles slamming a boundary through midwicket and then stepping out to loft spinner Ashgar clean as a whistle over long-off for a six. Gladiators 24-0, 3 overs.

Peshawar innings

A power-packed innings from Darren Sammy (48) helped Peshawar Zalmi recover from a poor start to make 135-7 after being put into bat.

Sammy clobbered four sixes and a boundary during his 31-ball knock as Zalmi plundered 59 in the last five overs.

Left arm spinner Nawaz returned excellent figures of 4-0-29-3 while Gul claimed two for 19.

Sammy clobbers Ali into the VIP box for the biggest six of the tournament so far before falling short of a half century. Zalmi 129-7, 19.3 overs.

Darren Sammy c Nawaz b Anwar Ali 48 (31b 1x4 4x6)

Yousuf perishes giving a return catch to Nawaz. Zalmi 116-6, 18.5 overs.

Shahid Yousuf c & b Mohammad Nawaz 21 (25b 1x4)

Sammy slams a slower ball from Ali for a straight six to bring up the 50 partnership off 34 balls. Zalmi 111-5, 18 overs.

Sammy is turning it on hoisting Nabi for a couple of gigantic sixes over long-on and midwicket. Zalmi 92-5, 16 overs.

Sammy cracks Nawaz behind point for his first boundary. Zalmi 76-5, 15 overs.

Peshawar are falling apart as Afridi last just two balls. Zalmi 59-5, 12 overs.

Shahid Afridi c Zulfiqar Babar b Umar Gul 0 (2b)

Malan opens his shoulders and clubs Gul for a six into the second tier at midwicket but top edges the next ball. Zalmi 59-3, 11.4 overs.

David Malan c Sarfraz Ahmed b Umar Gul 18 (21b 1x4 1x6)

A soft dismissal as Kamran lobs to the fielder at point. Zalmi 43-3, 8.2 overs.

Kamran Akmal c Nawaz b Zulfiqar Babar 6 (8b)

Double blow for Peshawar as Hafeez miscues a sweep shot. Zalmi 24-2, 4.5 overs.

Mohammad Hafeez c Chigumbura b Nawaz 10 (10b)

Nawaz draws first blood as Tamim attempts to hit him out of the ground only to miscue it. Zalmi 22-1, 4.2 overs.

Tamim Iqbal c Nabi b Nawaz 14 (19b 1x4

Tamim cuts Anwar to third man for the first boundary of the match. Zalmi 17-0, 3 overs.

Spin from the second over as Nabi comes into the attack.

Quetta Gladiators have won the toss and opted to bowl first in the Match 7 of PSL against Peshawar Zalmi in the ring of fire at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

Quetta Gladiators: Ahmed Shehzad, Aizaz Cheema, Akbar-ur-Rehman, Anwar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Bilal Asif, Bismillah Khan, E Chigumbura, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Nawaz (3), KP Pietersen, Rameez Raja (2), Saad Nasim, Sarfraz Ahmed, Umar Gul, LJ Wright, Zulfiqar Babar

Peshawar Zalmi: Aamer Yamin, Abdur Rehman, Hasan Ali, Israrullah, CJ Jordan, Junaid Khan, Kamran Akmal, DJ Malan, Mohammad Asghar, Mohammad Hafeez, Musadiq Ahmed, DJG Sammy, Shahid Afridi, Shahid Yousuf, SW Tait, Tamim Iqbal, Wahab Riaz

Islamabad record first win

Islamabad United recorded their first win of the PSL in their third outing with a thrilling two-run win over Karachi Kings who suffered their second defeat in Dubai on Sunday.

Chasing a target 133, Kings stumbled to 90-8 after 16 overs following a magical spell of 3 for 27 from spin wizard Saeed Ajmal.

However, Ravi Bopara kept alive Karachi's hopes of victory until the last ball. Last man Amir cracked a boundary while Bopara thumped a six off the penultimate from Watson.

Needing four off the last ball, Bopara could only get a single to remain unbeaten on a 19-ball 32 as Kings finished on 130-9.

Karachi innings

With 10 required off two balls, Bopara smashes Watson for a six but gets only a single off the final ball to concede victory to United.

Last man Amir gets a boundary off the second ball from Watson.

Drama in the final over as Usama is run out off a wide. Kings 118-9, 19 overs.

Usama Mir run out 10 (10b 1x4)

Russell is hit for a couple of boundaries in the penultimate over.

Bopara has blasted a no-ball from Sami for a massive straight six to keep alive Karachi's hopes. King 104-8, 18 overs.

Eight down as Kings are tumbling after a bulls-eye hit from bowler Raees. Kings 90-8, 16.1overs.

Sohail Tanvir run out 1 (4b)

Double blow by Ajmal bamboozling the new batsman with the arm delivery. Kings 87-7, 15 overs.

Saifullah Bangash c Imran Khalid b Ajmal 0 (1b)

Ajmal has struck a crucial blow enticing a sweep from Shakib who only succeeds in holing out to the fielder at midwicket. Kings 86-6, 14.4 overs.

Shakib Al Hasan c Imran Khalid b Ajmal 20 (22b 1x4)

Ifthikar perishes holing out after losing his patience. Kings 71-5, 12.5 overs.

Iftikhar Ahmed c Sharjeel Khan b Rumman Raees 19 (20b 1x4)

Sami strikes a deadly blow as Malik jabs onto his stumps much to his frustration. Kings 40-4, 7.3 overs.

Shoaib Malik b Mohammad Sami 6 (11b)

Russell strikes removing Imad who fishes outside off to nick it behind. Kings 35-3, 6.1 overs.

Imad Wasim c Billings b Russell 29 (17b)

Watson has been smashed for two consecutive boundaries by Imad. Kings 35-2, 6 overs.

Imad promoted to No.3 takes on Ajmal slamming three consecutive boundaries down the wicket, through the covers and cutting through point. Kings 17-2, 4 overs.

Ajmal has trapped Vince leg before first ball. Kings 3-2, 3.1 overs.

James Vince lbw b Saeed Ajmal 2 (11b)

Simmons is stranded after a miscommunication with his partner. Kings 2-1. 1.4 overs.

Lendl Simmons run out 1 (3b

Islamabad innings

A nine-ball 20 cameo from Sami lifted Islamabad United to a decent total of 132-6 after they lost six wickets for 36 runs in the middle after being 71-1 having been put in to bat.

Sami has hit a boundary and a straight six off Amir to bring some respectability to United's total. United 132-8

Another one goes down as Amir is spot on with a direct hit at the non-strikers' end. United 123-8, 19.3 overs.

Imran Khalid run out 12 (12b 0x4 1x6)

Shakib pouches a skier as Misbah attempt to take the aerial route falls flat. United 111-7, 18 overs.

Misbah-ul-Haq c Shakib Al Hasan b Bopara 4 (6b)

Khalid rocks back and whacks Bopara into the second tier for a massive six.

Islamabad have crumbled after a promising start losing four wickets in 10 balls. United 97-6, 16 overs.

Billings hits a boundary first ball and perishes to direct hit from Vince. United 95-6, 15.3 overs.

Sam Billings run out 4 (2b 1x4)

Bopara strikes yorking Latif as Islamabad suffer another setback. United 91-5, 15.1 overs.

Khalid Latif b Bopara 39 (35b 1x4 2x6)

Double blow for Islamabad as Russell falls cheaply giving a return catch. United 91-4, 15 overs.

Andre Russell c & b Usama Mir 2 (6b)

Zaidi is run out at the non-striker's end as Bopara hits the target. United 89-3, 14 overs.

Ashar Zaidi run out 6 (9b)

Amir strikes as Sharjeel goes a big heave but fails to clear the fielder at midwicket. United 76-2, 11.2 overs.

Islamabad are making steady progress despite losing Watson. United 71-1, 10 overs.

Latif is turning it on clubbing Shakib for a six over midwicket. United 66-1, 9 overs.

Sharjeel smashes Malik through the off for a boundary. United 49-1, 6 overs.

Latif bludgeons Imad over long-off for a six. United 42-1, 5 overs.

Imad strikes with his first delivery as Watson is rapped on the backfoot after being rooted to his crease. United 31-1, 4.1 overs.

Shane Watson lbw b Imad Wasim 13 (14b 1x6)

Sharjeel gets into his stride slamming a couple of boundaries off Tanvir. United 31-0, 4 overs.

Watson hits the first maximum of the innings swinging Amir over midwicket. United 18-0, 3 overs.

Karachi Kings have won the toss and opted to bowl against Islamabad United in the sixth match of the PSL in Dubai on Sunday.

Islamabad United: Amad Butt, Ashar Zaidi, Babar Azam, SW Billings, BJ Haddin, Hussain Talat, Imran Khalid, Kamran Ghulam, Khalid Latif, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Sami, Rumman Raees, AD Russell, Saeed Ajmal, Sharjeel Khan, Umar Amin, SR Watson

Karachi Kings: Bilawal Bhatti, RS Bopara, Fawad Alam, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Amir, Mushfiqur Rahim, Nauman Anwar, Saifullah Bangash, Shakib Al Hasan, Shoaib Malik, LMP Simmons, Sohail Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Usama Mir, JM Vince