Lahore - Peshawar Zalmi beat Quetta Gladiators by one run in the nail-biting first eliminator of Pakistan Super League (PSL) here at the jam-packed Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday. They will now play against Karachi Kings today (Wednesday) and the winner will clash against Islamabad United in the final to be played on March 25 at Karachi.

Chasing the target of 158 runs, Quetta lost two quick wickets of Asad Shafiq (0) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (5) and they were struggling at 17-2 but then all-rounder M Nawaz and skipper Sarfraz Ahmad steadied their innings and added important 63 runs for the third-wicket partnership. Captain Sarfraz hammered 21-ball 35 hitting 3 fours and 2 sixes while Nawaz also slammed 35 runs of 32 balls with the help 5 boundaries and 2 six. After that no good innings was witnessed from any of Gladiators players as Rilee Rossouw, Mahmudullah and Thisara Perera could add only 8, 9 and 12 runs respectively.

The highlight of the day was Anwar Ali’s swashbuckling batting, who not only amused the spectators but also helped Quetta Gladiators reach close the target. And when they were almost close and need 3 runs on the last ball to register an impressive victory, Zalmi’s batting sensation Liam Dawson though bowled the worst over, as he conceded 23 runs yet he bowled last ball well and couldn’t allow Anwar hit a big shot, thus helped his team register a thrilling 1-run victory. Anwar played 14 ball to gather 28 runs smashing 1 four and 3 huge sixes.

All the Peshawar Zalmi bowlers played their due role in their team’s triumph as Hasan Ali, Sameen Gul, Wahab Riaz and Umaid Asif – all managed to bag two wickets each conceding 21, 21, 26, 26 runs respectively while only Liam Dawson remained wicketless and was also the most expensive bowler as he conceded 52 runs in 4 overs without a wicket.

Earlier, Liam Dawson’s 62-run knock helped Peshawar Zalmi post 157 runs. Quetta skipper Sarfaraz Ahmad won the toss and elected to field first against defending champions Peshawar Zalmi. Dawson’s brisk batting ended Quetta Gladiators’ dominance in the middle of the first innings. Opener Tamim Iqbal smashed two fours, taking Peshawar to 8-0 off the first four balls of the match before rain stopped play and forced the teams off the field.

When the match resumed after the rain, Peshawar were off to worst start as they lost two quick wickets – first their styling and successful opener Kamran Akmal, who couldn’t open their account and then Andre Fletcher at his personal score of just 1 run. After that M Hafeez joined Tamim Iqbal and added some significant 44 runs, but Hafeez then sent packing by Mahmudullah at his individual score of 25 runs. He hit four boundaries and one six in his 14 ball innings. Tamim was the next after Hafeez, who was caught by Kohler-Cadmore off M Nawaz bowling. He made 29-ball 27 runs hitting 5 fours.

Liam Dawson then took the responsibility and kept the scoreboard ticking with his outstanding batting as he slammed 35-ball 62 runs with the help of 6 fours and 4 sixes. The other end couldn’t stay at the crease and kept on losing wickets and no one could cross double figures except Wahab Riaz who hit two fours to gather 15 runs and helped his team make the total respectable.

Rahat Ali bowled brilliantly and took some crucial wickets of Peshawar Zalmi and restricted them to 157 runs. He was ably assisted by Thisara Perera who bagged two wickets and Mahmudullah, M Nawaz, Hasan Khan and Mir Hamza who got one wicket each while only Anwar Ali remained wicketless for Gladiators.

Quetta Gladiators made four changes as they brought in Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Thisara Perera, Asad Shafiq and Mahmudullah while on the other hand, Peshawar Zalmi have made two changes in their squad as they gave picked up Tamim Iqbal and Andre Fletcher. With a defeat at the hand of Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta Gladiators' season came to an end while Peshawar Zalmi have to play second eliminator against Karachi Kings while the winners will take on Islamabad United in the PSL-3 final in Karachi on March 25.

Speaking on the occasion after winning the match, Hasan Ali, who was named man of the match, said: “As long as we win, it's okay to win late. The last over was a lot of pressure because of Anwar's sixes. The way Sarfraz played, we felt the pressure back then too. I am fit now, both with the new ball and the old ball. Finally, a big thank you to the Lahore crowd."

Losing team captain Sarfraz Ahmed said: "The match was in our hand, and I feel we lost the game because of our own errors. Nawaz and I shouldn't have been out that time. If we were sensible off the last ball, we could've had the super over, but the pressure got the better of the boys at the end.”

 The way the pitch was, it didn't matter whether we batted first or second today. Our journey this year has been full of ups and downs, but Nadeem (our owner) has been excellent. Hope to come back stronger next year."

Winning team captain Darren Sammy said: "Needing 25, you tend to back your own team. The games against Quetta are always excellent, the crowd was great too, and honestly, a win is a win. At the start of the tournament, we lost some players. So, credit goes to these guys. Our coaches worked with the boys, and today, I needed them to step up. Sameen's two wickets were crucial, Asif was great, but our two seniors: Wahab and Hasan showed their class. Dawson the way he batted, without that innings we wouldn't be hear today. We enjoy this win, but need to take on Karachi again. Got to come back and do the basics right. Hopefully, we can continue this."

 Scoreboard

PEshawar zalmi Tamim Iqbal c Kohler-Cadmore b Nawaz        27

Kamran Akmal b Rahat Ali       0

A Fletcher c Perera b Mir Hamza         1

M Hafeez  b Mahmudullah        25

L Dawson c Sarfraz Ahmed b Rahat Ali            62

Saad Nasim c Perera b Hasan Khan     9

Umaid Asif c Asad Shafiq b Rahat Ali   7

DJG Sammy c Mir Hamza b Rahat Ali  2

Wahab Riaz b Perera    15

Hasan Ali c Kohler-Cadmore b Perera 4

Sameen Gul not out      1

EXTRAS: (lb1, nb1, w2)          4

TOTAL: (all out; 20 overs)       157

FOW: 1-9, 2-10, 3-54, 4-58, 5-86, 6-112, 7-137, 8-137, 9-156, 10-157

BOWLING: Mohammad Nawaz 4-0-21-1, Rahat Ali 4-0-16-4, Mir Hamza 3-0-34-1, Hasan Khan 4-0-27-1, Mahmudullah 2-0-20-1, Anwar Ali 1-0-14-0, T Perera 2-0-24-2

QUETTA GLADIATORS

Asad Shafiq c Sammy b Hasan             0

T Kohler-Cadmore c Kamran b Hasan 5

M Nawaz c Umaid b Sameen   35

Sarfraz Ahmed c Kamran b Sameen     35

R Rossouw c Hasan b Umaid   8

Mahmudullah b Umaid  19

T Perera c sub b Wahab           12

Anwar Ali not out         28

Hasan Khan c Kamran b Wahab          0

Mir Hamza run out        0

EXTRAS: (lb 10, w 4)  14

TOTAL: (9 wkts; 20 overs)      156

FOW: 1-0, 2-17, 3-80, 4-80, 5-116, 6-117, 7-132, 8-133, 9-156

BOWLING: Hasan Ali 4-0-21-2, Sameen Gul 4-0-21-2, Wahab Riaz 4-0-26-2, Umaid Asif 4-0-26-2, L Dawson 4-0-52-0

TOSS: Quetta Gladiators

UMPIRES: Rashid Riaz, Aleem Dar

TV UMPIRES: Ahmed Shahab

MATCH REFEREE: M Anees