DUBAI - 19-year-old Hassan Khan's penultimate ball six helped Quetta Gladiators to beat Multan Sultans in a nail-bitting thriller in the third edition of the Pakistan Super League at Dubai on Wednesday.

The Gladiators chased down the tricky target of 153 to register a crucial two-wicket victory in the ongoing Pakistan Super League despite a six-wicket haul by Sultans' pacer Umar Gul.

Gladiators handed their batting coach and mentor Sir Vivian Richards a perfect birthday gift when they pulled off a thrilling and much-needed win against table toppers Multan Sultans to keep their hopes alive of progressing into the Playoffs. With just two wins from five matches, the Sarfraz Ahmed-led side was hopelessly placed at second from bottom in the six-team league.

And, on Wednesday night they looked like heading towards their fourth defeat in six matches when out of the blue they found unlikely heroes in their tailenders Anwar Ali (15 from 8 balls, 1x4 and 1x6), Mohammad Nawaz (11 from 4 balls, 1x4, 1x6) and Hassan Khan who hit the winning six off Kieron Pollard when the team needed three runs from two balls. Chasing 153 to win, Quetta had contributions from Shane Watson (26), Asad Shafiq (20), Rilee Roussoum (27) and Rameez Raja Junior (22) but they were still found wanting after Umar Gul came up with a splendid bowling performance to finish with 6 for 24 from his four overs.

With 60 needed from 36 balls it looked all over for Quetta until their tail wagged. From 22 off 12 it came down to 9 off 9, then 9 off 6. Pollard was handed the last over, but the West Indian had an off day in the field, first dropping Shane Watson in the slips, and then missing a run out of Hassan, which proved more costlier than Watson's wicket as the 19-year-old sent Pollard's next ball into the stands for the winning runs. The win was all the more sweet for Quetta who had lost to Multan by nine wickets when the two teams last met in Sharjah.

Earlier, Quetta made three changes. Kevin Pietersen, Asad Shafiq and Ben Laughlin replaced Mahmudullah, Amin and Hastings. Multan rested Junaid Khan and Darren Bravo, and brought in Umar Gul and Ross Whiteley.

Captain Sarfraz Ahmed, after winning the toss and opting to field, introduced spin for a change and Mohammad Nawaz was spot on with his first delivery. Playing a lazy-looking shot Kumar Sangakkara lobbed the ball straight into the hands of Hassan Khan at short mid-wicket. In the next over Anwar Ali's rising ball had Ahmed Shehzad going on his toes to try and pull him through the off-side but the ball ended up in Sarfraz Ahmed's gloves whose half-hearted appeal for caught-behind was reviewed and it went in Quetta's favour. Soon Multan were 3 for 2.

Multan tampered with their batting line-up promoting Sohail Tanvir to No.4. They could have been 4 for 3 when Shane Watson dropped a sitter after Rahat Ali forced Tanvir, who had yet to open his account, to edge a rising delivery into the slip cordon.

Then Tanvir escaped a run-out on 14 but his luck didn't last long and Watson got his revenge by clean bowling him.

Maqsood and Shoaib Malik guided the team to 81 for 4 before Maqsood was trapped in front by Ben Laughlin. After 15 overs Multan were struggling at 95 for 4 when the experience of Shoaib and Pollard helped them cross the 150-run mark. Shoaib went on to remain unbeaten on 65.





K Sangakkara c Hassan b Nawaz 0
Ahmed Shehzad c Sarfraz b Anwar 1
Sohaib Maqsood lbw b Laughlin 27
Sohail Tanvir b Watson 19
Shoaib Malik not out 65
R Whiteley c Laughlin b Rahat 16
K Pollard not out 15
EXTRAS: (lb3, w6) 9
TOTAL: (5 wkts; 20 overs) 152
FOW: 1-0, 2-3, 3-41, 4-81, 5-119
BOWLING: M Nawaz 3-0-18-1, Anwar Ali 3-0-24-1, Rahat Ali 4-0-24-1, B Laughlin 4-0-37-1, S Watson 4-0-37-1, Hassan Khan-2-0-9-0
Asad Shafiq c Imran Tahir b Gul 20
S Watson c Saif b Gul 26
K Pietersen lbw b Shoaib Malik 5
R Rossouw c Whiteley b Gul 27
Rameez Raja Jr b Imran Tahir 22
Sarfraz Ahmed c sub b Gul 11
Anwar Ali c Imran Tahir b Gul 15
M Nawaz c Pollard b Gul 11
Hassan Khan not out 9
B Laughlin not out 3
EXTRAS: (nb2, w5) 7
TOTAL: (8 wkts; 19.5 overs) 156
FOW: 1-48, 2-54, 3-62, 4-90, 5-114, 6-118, 7-144, 8-144
BOWLING: Sohail Tanvir 4-0-37-0, M Irfan 4-0-32-0, Imran Tahir 4-0-24-1, Umar Gul 4-0-24-6, Shoaib Malik 2-0-18-1, K Pollard 1.5-0-21-0
TOSS: Quetta Gladiators
UMPIRES: Tim Robinson, Aleem Dar
TV UMPIRE: Ahmed Shahab


Azhar khan