During the 18th match of Pakistan Super League 8 (PSL8), the Quetta Gladiators exhibited a stellar display of bowling to restrict the table-toppers Lahore Qalandars from setting a daunting target at Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday. The Gladiators bowled out Qalandars for a total of 148 runs in 20 overs, with four balls to spare. The opening and middle order of Qalandars were completely dismantled by the impressive bowling of Mohammad Nawaz, Naveenul Haq, Naseem Shah, and others, before Sikandar Raza emerged as the hero to help the team set a reasonably competitive total. While Rashid Khan managed to score 21 runs, no other player was able to cross the 20-run mark due to the exceptional bowling performance by the Gladiators.
After winning the toss, the Gladiators decided to field first. The Shaheen Afridi-led Qalandars were looking for a hat-trick of wins in the tournament, having won two consecutive matches. However, the Gladiators had different plans and came back strongly after facing several setbacks in the ongoing tournament. Although the Qalandars managed to win both of their previous fixtures at the same stadium, the Gladiators were determined to break that streak. Despite the pitch at Gaddafi Stadium being known for being batting-friendly, the Qalandars were unable to score big numbers in this match and were restricted to a modest total.
On the other hand, the struggling Quetta Gladiators were determined to turn their fortunes around in the ongoing tournament. While skipper Sarfaraz Ahmad and the hard-hitting Iftikhar Ahmad remained in good form, the team had yet to hit their stride. Fans were hoping for impressive performances from bowlers Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah, and Odean Smith, but they had failed to deliver in the previous matches.
Moving on to the second innings, the Quetta Gladiators faced a target of 149 runs to secure a victory. Despite the Qalandars’ exceptional bowling performance, Sikandar Raza’s incredible innings of 71 runs off just 34 balls ensured that the Qalandars had a respectable total to defend. Additionally, Rashid Khan and Abdullah Shafique also contributed with the bat. Now, it remains to be seen if the Quetta Gladiators can chase down the target and claim a much-needed victory.