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Roy, Shakeel help Quetta Gladiators ease past Peshawar Zalmi

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LAHORE: Jason Roy and Saud Shakeel’s tremendous opening stand propelled Quetta Gladiators to register a sixteen-run victory over Peshawar Zalmi in their opening Pakistan Super League (PSL) 9 match at Gaddafi Stadium.

Set to chase 207, Peshawar Zalmi’s captain Babar Azam and Saim Ayub came out all guns blazing as they raised 70 runs in the powerplay.

However, their progress was halted by a mixup between the batters in the ninth over, resulting in Ayub’s run-out, which proved to be the turning point.

Ayub scored a quick 42 runs from 26 balls, which featured three sixes and two boundaries.

Akeal Hosein then removed Mohammad Haris to reduce Zalmi to 108-2 in 10.2 overs before Tom Kohler-Cadmore joined hands with Azam for a 39-run stand.

Azam played a 68-run knock in 42 balls with the help of four boundaries and four sixes. He fell prey to Abrar Ahmed in the 16th over with 147 runs on the board.

Kohler-Cadmore also fell in the same over after scoring run-a-ball 18 runs, leaving Zalmis to chase 57 off 26.

Quetta Gladiators’ bowlers did not allow the batters to regain momentum and reduced them to 182-5 in 19 overs, requiring 25 off the last over.

Mohammad Wasim’s last over conceded seven runs only, handing the Gladiators a 16-run win, with Abrar Ahmed leading the bowling with 2-29.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Amir, Hosein and Wasim bagged one wicket each.

Prior to that, Quetta Gladiators were invited to bat first and their new opening pair of Jason Roy and Saud Shakeel started their PSL 9 campaign brilliantly.

Roy hit Luke Wood for the four on the first ball to kick things off before Shakeel also hit a boundary to get runs from the first over.

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Shakeel was almost dismissed in the next over as Saim Ayub caught a low catch at backward point, but the third-umpire declined the appeal, giving the left-hand batter a lifeline.

Both batters gained momentum gradually and turned the game on its head with regular boundaries to reach the 100-run mark in ten overs.

Roy raised his half-century in 33 balls with a six over deep midwicket off Dan Mousley, meanwhile, Shakeel reached the landmark in 36 balls.

They continued the onslaught but Wood finally broke the 157-run partnership as Shakeel ballooned the ball in the air, only to be caught by Babar Azam at mid-on.

Shakeel departed after scoring a brilliant 74 off 47, laced with ten boundaries, which included four sixes as well.

Gladiators’ skipper Rilee Rossouw joined the party and hit the six off the first ball, followed by a boundary two balls later, but Mohammad Zeeshan castled him in the next over to end his brief stay.

Roy was departed by Salman Irshad in the 18th over with 185 runs on the board after playing a clinical knock of 75 runs from 48 balls, featuring nine boundaries and two sixes.

Sherfane Rutherford played a 20-run cameo off 13 balls before getting out in the last over, followed by Mohammad Wasim who scored a boundary and departed on the next ball.

Khawaja Nafay (6) hit the last ball for four to lift the team’s total to 206 in their allocated 20 overs.

Irshad led the bowling charts for the Peshawar Zalmi with figures of 3-38, while Wood and Zeeshan contributed with one wicket each.

READ: Ravichandran Ashwin set to rejoin team in ongoing England Test: BCCI

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