Sarfraz, Watson shepherd Quetta home in final-over win

Quetta Gladiators 158 for 4 (Sarfraz xx, Watson 37) beat Peshawar Zalmi 157 for 5 (Smith 49, Watson 2-26) by xxx wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

In a nutshell

The previous few games in the PSL almost made T20 cricket lose its shape, There were one-sided duds, exceptionally low-scoring matches and domino collapses, but this was (if indeed we can begin to call it that) good old-fashioned T20 cricket. Quetta Gladiators chased down Peshawar Zalmi’s 157 with a cold-hearted, ruthless performance, powered to the finish by a world-class 74-run partnership between their captain Sarfraz Ahmed and Rilee Rossouw.

Quetta tried to stay on top of the asking rate right from the outset, aided by Shane Watson, whose outstanding form has seen him become the top scorer in the tournament. A 25-ball 37 from him sent Quetta on their way, with a cameo from Kevin Pietersen allowing them to keep the required rate in check. However, Peshawar were clawing their way back in with regular wickets, and when Quetta were reduced to 84 for 4, the importance of the Rossouw-Sarfraz partnership appeared impossible to overstate. Both players rose to the occasion with a professional, dispassionate class, managing to keep the runs ticking in the face of magnificent death bowling by Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali. They took it to the final over, but they never looked like blowing it. The result, however, meant that Lahore Qalandars – like the last two seasons – were out of playoff contention.

Peshawar were guilty of a slow start, but Dwayne Smith compensated for that with a lusty, powerful innings up top, thwacking five sixes in a 33-ball 49. But soft dismissals were the scourge of their innings, and the next four batsmen fell to straightforward deliveries spooned straight into the air in the inner circle, as Peshawar lost momentum regularly. They only managed to get to above 150 thanks to a brilliant rearguard from Captain Fantastic Daren Sammy – still only partially fit, whose 19-ball 36 powered them to 157. It was respectable, but not quite enough.

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