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Rutherford’s blitz lifts Gladiators to edge Kings in PSL 9 nail-biter

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KARACHI: Sherfane Rutherford displayed nerves of steel and steered Quetta Gladiators to a narrow victory over Karachi Kings in the 16th match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 9 here at National Bank Stadium on Thursday.

Chasing 166, the Gladiators completed a tense pursuit on the final delivery when Rutherford struck Anwar Ali for a boundary at deep fine leg.

Earlier, Saud Shakeel and Jason Roy gave the Gladiators a solid start to the pursuit.

The opening stand yielded 57 runs and lasted on the last delivery of the batting powerplay when Hasan Ali got Saud caught at deep square leg. Saud scored an anchoring 24 off 20 deliveries, hitting four boundaries.

Gladiators’ mainstay Roy then stitched brief partnerships with Khawaja Nafay (2) and Sarfaraz Ahmed (3) before finally perishing in the 12th over, briefly after amassing his half-century.

Roy remained a notable contributor for the Gladiators in yet another PSL 9 fixture, scoring 52 off 31 deliveries with the help of two boundaries and four sixes.

The Gladiators then succumbed to further trouble when their skipper Rilee Rossouw perished in the next over after scoring a mere six.

Following the slump, Akeal Hosein and Sherfane Rutherford joined forces to produce a scintillating partnership and snatched a narrow victory for their side.

The pair batted sensibly and added an unbeaten 80 runs for the sixth wicket.

But the match-winning stand was majorly dominated by Rutherford, who top-scored for the Gladiators with a 31-ball 58, hitting one four and six sixes.

Hosein, however, made an important contribution with his 22 not out from 17 deliveries. His gutsy knock featured one boundary and a six.

For Karachi Kings, Hasan Ali and Zahid Mahmood bagged two wickets each while Shoaib Malik picked one.

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Put into bat first, the Kings got off to an unwanted start to their innings as they lost their captain Shan Masood (0) in the first over, bowled by Akeal Hosein.

But, their vice-captain James Vince partnered strongly with Tim Seifert and launched a counterattack.

The duo added a brisk 59-run stand and took Kings to 61/1 at the conclusion of the batting powerplay.

But Usman Tariq turned the game on its head in his first over by removing both set batters.

Seifert scored 21 off 11 deliveries with the help of two boundaries and a six while Vince top-scored for the Kings with a 25-ball 37 which featured eight boundaries.

Following the back-to-back dismissals, Mohammad Nawaz joined experienced Shoaib Malik in the middle and knitted a crucial partnership.

The pair added 39 runs for the fourth wicket until Abrar Ahmed dismissed Malik in the 13th over. He scored 12 off 20 deliveries.

Mohammad Nawaz, who dominated the fourth-wicket partnership with a brisk 28 fell in the next over. His 19-ball knock featured four boundaries.

Nawaz’s dismissal sparked a lower middle-order collapse as the Kings lost three more wickets — Kieron Pollard (13), Hasan Ali (2) and Muhammad Irfan Khan (15) — in quick succession and consequently slipped to 138/8 in 17.2 overs.

Veteran all-rounder Anwar Ali, however, offered late fireworks with an unbeaten cameo and bolstered Karachi Kings’ total to 165/8 in the allotted overs.

He smashed one four and two sixes on his way to a 14-ball 25.

Abrar Ahmed led the bowling attack for Quetta Gladiators with 3/31, followed by Akeal Hosein and Usman Tariq, who bagged two each. Pacer Sohail Khan, on the other hand, made one scalp.

The five-wicket victory solidified Quetta Gladiators’ command at the second spot in the PSL 9 standings with eight points in five matches while Karachi Kings remained at fifth with four points in as many matches.

READ: Hasan Ali becomes the second bowler to take 100 PSL wickets

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