LAHORE                  -                Ben Dunk and Smit Patel steered Lahore Qalandars to their first ever Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 victory, as they recorded 37-run triumph against Quetta Gladiators here at pack-to-capacity Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday night.

Quetta couldn’t reply strong and kept on losing wickets on regular interval, while chasing the big target of 210 runs set by Lahore Qalandars. Besides brilliant batting performances, Qalandars bowling attack also showed up fine performance to help their side register a comfortable 37-run triumph.

Opener Jason Roy seemed struggling to regain lost form in the event and once again lost his wicket cheaply at his individual score of 12, when his side was struggling at 28-1, and soon after his departure, Ahsan Ali was sent packing at 2-29. Bad luck continued to follow Quetta when experienced Safraz Ahmad (9) fell cheaply at the total of 50-3. Quetta’s reliable batsman Shane Watson also gifted his wicket, when he was playing at 23, which he gathered off 17 balls, with one four and two sixes. At that time, Quetta were struggling at 53-4.

Quetta’s middle order also failed to deliver for the team and couldn’t help their side reach home safely. Azam Khan (15) was the fifth batsman, who lost his wicket at a total of 79-5 while at the total of 97, Quetta lost their sixth wicket, when Muhammad Nawaz was sent packing at his individual score of 24. Anwar Ali could score only four runs, as Quetta lost their seventh wicket at a total of 116.

Quetta got the biggest setback with the departure of their top scorer Ben Cutting (53), who played 27 balls and smashed three boundaries and five sixes, as the Gladiators were struggling at 159-8. Salman Irshad was the main wrecker-in-chief from Lahore Qalandars as he clinched four wickets for 29 while Muhammad Faizan also bowled well and bagged two wickets for 29, Smit Patel two for 31 and Dilbar two for 11. Ben Dunk emerged as player of the match.

Earlier, swashbuckling knocks of Ben Dunk and Smit Patel helped Lahore Qalandars post 209-5 on the board. Dunk played superb knock of 43-ball 93, laced with three fours and 10 towering sixes. Patel smashed 40-ball 71, studded with nine boundaries and two sixes.

Both heroes of the day brought some cheers on the faces of their team management and diehard fans by showcasing their amazing cricket talent, cracking strokes one after another to post 155 runs for the fourth-wicket stand, steering the team out of early danger which left them at 1-36, 2-49 and 3-50. At one stage when Lahore middle order innings plunged into usual trouble after the departure of opener Fakhar Zaman (15), CA Lynn (27) and Muhammad Hafeez (0), they found it hard to salvage their pride.

Duo of English batsmen partnered for the so far, the biggest fifth-wicket stand. Dunk created a new record of maximum sixes in an innings by hammering ten sixes laced with three fours off 43 balls and found a perfect partner in Smit, who played 40 deliveries to force nine fours and two sixes to add to the misery of Quetta’s struggling bowling attack.

Wicketkeeper batsman Dunk was the fourth batsman out at 205 when he went for a big shot and was taken at the edge of the boundary by Ahsan Ali off Muhammad Nawaz. Four runs later Smit departed caught by Nawaz off Cutting. Both Dunk and Smit received huge round of applause on their way back to the pavilion. Cuttings took two for 36 and Nawaz, Fawad Alam and Muhammad Husnain and got one wicket for 44, 26 and 32 runs respectively.

Prior to this match, defending champions Quetta Gladiators registered three victories in five matches – two against Islamabad United and one against Karachi Kings – while they lost two matches against Peshawar Zalmi and Multan Sultans. Lahore Qalandars altogether played three matches and lost all as Multan Sultans, Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi won their matches against Qalandars. This one was the first ever Qalandars victory in the PSL 2020.

Pak kabaddi players also enjoy PSL match

Kabaddi team captain Irfan Manna and Musharraf Janjua along with Pakistan Kabaddi Federation Secretary Rana Sarwar enjoyed the PSL match and lauded the role of Pakistan Cricket Board for making the league an international brand and providing the cricket-mad Pakistani nation opportunities to enjoy the highly-charged and action-packed matches at home grounds. Both Irfan and Musharraf disclosed that they are here to support Lahore Qalandars team.

Irfan Manna said: “I used to play cricket before moving towards kabaddi. The Kabaddi World Cup title victory against India gave us name and fame and during the match, our fans kept on having selfies with us and gave us true respect and love.” Musharraf Janjua said: “Conducting PSL matches in such a professional and successful way will present a very positive message to entire world that Pakistan is a peaceful and sports loving country and it can host all kinds of sports events.”

Scorecard

LAHORE QALANDARS:

Fakhar Zaman c Anwar b M Nawaz 15

CA Lynn c Sarfaraz b M Hasnain 27

BR Dunk c Ahsan b Cutting 93

M Hafeez c Watson b Fawad 0

SR Patel c Nawaz b Cutting 71

Sohail Akhtar not out 0

EXTRAS: (lb2, w1) 3

TOTAL: (5 wkts, 20 overs) 209

FOW: 1-36, 2-49, 3-50, 4-205, 5-209.

BOWLING: Nawaz 4-0-44-1; Naseem 4-0-48-0; Fawad 4-0-28-1; Hasnain 4-0-32-1; Cutting 3-0-36-2; Anwar 1-0-19-0.

QUETTA GLADIATORS:

JJ Roy b Patel 12

SR Watson c Dunk b Dilbar 23

Ahsan Ali c Lynn b Dilbar 2

Sarfaraz Ahmed c Hafeez b Patel 9

Azam Khan c Faizan b Salman 12

M Nawaz c Dilbar b Faizan 24

B Cutting c Hafeez b Salman 53

Anwar Ali c Hafeez b Faizan 4

Fawad Ahmed b Salman 13

Naseem Shah lbw b Salman 7

Mohammad Hasnain not out 1

EXTRAS: (b2, lb3, w7) 12

TOTAL: (all out, 20 overs) 172

FOW: 1-28, 2-39, 3-50, 4-53, 5-79, 6-94, 7-116, 8-159, 9-165, 10-172.

BOWLING: Shaheen 4-0-39-0; Patel 4-0-31-2; Dilbar 2-0-11-2; Salman 4-0-29-4; Prasanna 3-0-28-0; Faizan 3-0-29-2.

TOSS: Quetta Gladiators

UMPIRES: Shozab Raza, Faisal Afridi

TV UMPIRE: Asif Yaqoob

MATCH REFEREE: Mohammed Anees