Triumphant Gladiators conquer United to achieve triumvirate of victories in PSL 9:

Triumphant Gladiators conquer United to achieve triumvirate of victories in PSL 9:

News by “Sana Ullah”

LAHORE: Rilee Rossouw exhibited fortitude with a gritty 34 following a collective bowling display to steer Quetta Gladiators to a narrow three-wicket triumph over Islamabad United in the eighth match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 9 held here on Thursday.

Quetta Gladiators extended their exceptional start to the PSL 9 campaign as they clinched a hat-trick of wins with a captivating victory over two-time champions Islamabad United.

However, the Gladiators had to toil to reach the 139-run target as they lost seven wickets in the process.

The 2019 champions got off to a flying start in the chase despite Saud Shakeel’s early dismissal as they amassed 49 runs in the initial five overs.

Yet, returning pacer Rumman Raees dismantled batting sensation Khawaja Nafay (nine) in the sixth over, triggering a collapse.

The Gladiators suffered two more setbacks — Jason Roy and Sarfaraz Ahmed — in quick succession, slipping to 54/4 in 7.1 overs.

Roy emerged as the top-scorer for the Gladiators with an 18-ball 37 featuring six fours and a six, while Sarfaraz managed a mere one.

Following the slump, Sherfane Rutherford partnered with skipper Rilee Rossouw to initiate a remarkable recovery.

The duo exhibited sensible batting, adding a vital 62 runs to the total before Naseem Shah dismissed Rutherford in the 16th over. Rutherford contributed 29 off 23 deliveries, including one four and two sixes.

Rutherford’s departure injected hope into United, and they staged a late resurgence by claiming two quick wickets, reducing the Gladiators to 127/7 with 12 runs required off 17 deliveries.

However, Gladiators’ No.9 Mohammad Amir thwarted United’s comeback with a sensational cameo, guiding his side to a tense victory. He scored an unbeaten 11 off six deliveries, including two boundaries.

Gladiators’ captain Rossouw anchored the innings with an unbeaten 34 off 38. His composed knock in the run chase and two catches earned him the Player of the Match accolade.

Naseem Shah and Shadab Khan secured two wickets each for United, while Hunain Shah and Raees dismissed one batter apiece.

Opting to bat first, the formidable batting lineup of United managed 138/9 in the allotted 20 overs.

The two-time champions began their innings briskly, with Alex Hales smashing two consecutive sixes off Akeal Hosein in the third over. However, the spinner retaliated, dismissing him on the next delivery.

Hales, on his way to a nine-ball 21, also struck a boundary.

Following the early setback, Salman Ali Agha partnered with Colin Munro to stabilize the innings with a 40-run partnership.

The pair seemed to settle before Abrar Ahmed removed Munro in the eighth over with the score at 69.

Munro contributed a gritty 20 off 22 deliveries, including one boundary and a six.

His dismissal triggered a collapse in the middle order, with United slipping to 87/5 in 11.3 overs, with set batsman Agha also departing.

Agha top-scored for United with a 23-ball 33, comprising five boundaries.

With United in dire straits, Imad Wasim and Jordan Cox forged a cautious partnership for the sixth wicket but struggled against the relentless Gladiators’ bowling attack.

They managed to add 18 runs to the total before Abrar dismissed Imad in the 16th over, who scored nine off 15 deliveries.

Cox, meanwhile, fell in the 18th over after contributing 20 off 14 deliveries.

Abrar and Mohammad Wasim Jr bagged three wickets each for the Gladiators, while Hosein claimed two.

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