Quetta Gladiators have come under fire following their defeat by Islamabad United in the 13th match of the eighth season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Analysts at PSL Hungama heaped praise on Islamabad United. Ace cricketer Muhammad Yusuf said the way Islamabad United played cricket today was class. After losing 4 wickets at the start, the way Azam Khan and Asif Ali played the innings, a total of 220 runs was no small feat.
Former pacer Muhammad Asif said that Islamabad United played a fearless game. In today’s T20 format, the way Azam Khan played, his class show was unbelievable, he added. Azam Khan wreaked havoc with a quickfire knock of 97 runs before the bowlers guided Islamabad United to a dominant 63-run win over Quetta Gladiators. Muhammad Asif said that Azam had played in leagues all over the world and used his experience.
Asif stressed Quetta Gladiators come only to play matches… nothing to do with showing performance. The Gladiators had a poor start to their chase as the side lost three wickets for just 26 runs in the fourth innings, with all their top-three batsmen falling cheaply.
Muhammad Yusuf said the Gladiators’ top order had failed again. Set to chase a mammoth 221, the Gladiators could only score 157 before being run out in the final over after Mohammad Hafeez’s brief revenge. After Hafeez’s dismissal, Sarfaraz forged a cautious partnership of 32 years with Iftikhar Ahmed.
Sarfaraz’s dismissal sparked a match-defining collapse in the Gladiators’ winning line-up, which was eventually completed in the final over with their key run-getter Iftikhar also returning to the pavilion in the 19th over. Asif said the gladiators don’t have any plan.
He continued, “The captain has to decide whether to play with such fear or play with a good strike rate. Partnerships must be built, otherwise this losing streak will continue. The management will have to consider whether to make Sarfraz the captain or give someone else a chance.”