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Hosein’s hat-trick in vain as Zalmi crush Gladiators to seal playoffs berth

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RAWALPINDI: Babar Azam’s quickfire half-century, followed by a ruthless bowling effort led Peshawar Zalmi to crush Quetta Gladiators by 76 runs in the 25th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 9 here at Pindi Cricket Stadium on Thursday.

Set to chase 197, the Gladiators’ batting unit unfolded on a meagre 120 despite a solid opening stand.

Their openers Saud Shakeel and Jason Roy came out all guns blazing, smashing the ball all around the ground until Mehran Mumtaz struck in the fifth over.

The youngster dismissed Saud, who scored a quickfire 24 off 12 deliveries, laced with two boundaries and two sixes.

His dismissal opened the floodgates and the Gladiators lost four more wickets in quick succession, losing half of their side with 76 runs on the board in 10.4 overs.

Akeal Hosein (14) and Omair Bin Yousuf (10) offered minor resilience with their 21-run partnership before both perished.

Later, Mohammad Amir (13) offered a brief fight with his short cameo before Khurram Shahzad dismissed Abrar to sweep off the tail.

For Zalmi, Mehran Mumtaz, Saim Ayub, Luke Wood and Shahzad bagged two wickets each while Naveen-ul-Haq and Aamer Jamal took one apiece.

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Put into bat first, Peshawar Zalmi registered a formidable total on the board, courtesy of Babar Azam’s half-century.

Openers Saim Ayub and Babar Azam once again provided Zalmi a decent start to the innings as the in-form duo notched up a quickfire 46-run stand which lasted with the former’s dismissal in the fourth over.

Ayub smashed one boundary and three sixes on his way to a 12-ball 30.

Mohammad Haris then partnered briefly with Babar for a 47-run partnership before a direct hit from Gladiators’ skipper Rilee Rossouw brought curtains on his knock in the eighth over. He scored 20 off 13 deliveries, hitting one boundary and a six.

Zalmi then lost another wicket when Haseebullah Khan (six) was cleaned up by Abrar Ahmed on the first delivery of the 10th over.

Their mainstay with the bat Babar Azam soon perished when he was trapped lbw by Akeal Hosein in the 13th over after scoring 53 off 30 deliveries, laced with nine boundaries and a six.

He was quickly followed by Tom Kohler Cadmore in the next over, who fell prey to Mohammad Hasnain after scoring a brisk 33. His 19-ball knock featured four boundaries and a six.

Akeal Hosein put Quetta Gladiators in control in the 16th over when he dismantled Peshawar Zalmi’s lower middle-order with a hat-trick, removing Aamer Jamal (5), Mehran Mumtaz (0) and Luke Wood (0).

Hosein’s hat-trick, the first of PSL 9, halted Peshawar Zalmi to a mammoth total but Rovman Powell gave it a late push with an undefeated 39-run partnership with Naveen-ul-Haq, who scored a sensible 10 off nine deliveries.

Powell struck four boundaries on his way to a 25-ball 28.

Akeal Hosein led the Gladiators’ bowling attack with 4/23 while Hasnain, Abrar and Sohail Khan picked one wicket apiece.

READ: Quetta Gladiators rest Sarfaraz Ahmed for Peshawar Zalmi clash

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