Recent Match Report – Gladiators vs Kings 28th Match 2021/22


Kings’ forgettable season came to an end as Quetta finished with a win though they are unlikely to progress

Quetta Gladiators 166 for 4 (Roy 82, Gregory 1-22, Wasim 1-27) beat Karachi Kings 143 for 8 (Clarke 52, Azam 36, Shahzad 4-22) by 23 runs

The first match of Sunday’s double-header in the PSL in Lahore was an odd one; neither the winning team nor the losing one would have been happy at the end of it. Quetta Gladiators needed to win their final match of the league stage by a huge margin in order to keep their hopes of qualification alive, mathematically. Kings, who held the upper hand for most parts, skittled away a strong start with the bat to go down by 23 runs.

It was a case of old habits dying hard for Kings as a forgettable PSL season came to an end with their ninth defeat in ten matches. Kings lost seven wickets for just 37 runs with Gladiators’ Khurram Shahzad picking four on T20 debut, turning the chase on its head. It meant Kings were restricted to 143 for 8 in their chase of the 167-run target.
Gladiators chose to bat first and their openers struggled to get going. Will Smeed fell early while Jason Roy made use of the powerplay to get off to a fast start. However, Roy was far from his belligerent self, bringing the edges of his blade into play more often.
Imad Wasim and Umaid Asif snuck in some economical overs as Kings captain Babar Azam rotated his bowlers quite regularly. That did not deter Roy and James Vince, who added 90 for the second wicket. Vince’s attempt at upping the scoring rate resulted in his dismissal, as he was bowled by fellow Englishman Lewis Gregory while trying to play a big shot across the line.

Roy soon brought up his third half-century in the season but then fell in the final over, holing out to Mir Hamza. Thanks to Roy and Iftikhar Ahmed, Gladiators collected 41 off the last four overs to post 166.

Kings were on course for overhauling the target and registering their second successive win when Babar and Joe Clarke, who had a forgettable outing with the gloves, were in the middle. The duo blazed through the powerplay, finishing 51 for none – Kings’ best this season – and added 87 for the opening wicket. Legspinner Ashir Qureshi was taken for 15 in his second over, which signalled the openers’ intent.

Player-of-the-Match Shahzad, first got through Azam’s defense before castling Sharjeel Khan, who hit 16 off just seven balls. Clarke then completed his first fifty of the season before missing an attempted heave off Mohammad Irfan to be bowled.

Kings never recovered from those setbacks as Gladiators tightened the noose to shut the game. Shahzad’s blows ensured a winning end to Gladiators’ campaign, even though they are likely to be knocked out.

S Sudarshanan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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