Rilee Rossouw hit a robust half-century to help Quetta Gladiators to a convincing seven-wicket victory against Karachi Kings on the third day of the Pakistan Super League action at the Dubai International Stadium on Saturday (February 11).
Set a target of 160 to win after Karachi posted 159 for 8, Quetta were guided by Rossouw’s 53-ball 76 not out as they chased down the target in 19.1 overs while reaching 160 for 3. It was their second win in as many games, and they are now the only side to win both their matches.
Islamabad United, Lahore Lions and Peshawar Zalmi have all won one game each and lost one.
Rossouw, who ended his South African career in a controversial Koplak deal with Hampshire last month, followed up his match-winning 60 against Lahore by adding a decisive 130-run stand off 90 balls for the fourth wicket with Sarfraz Ahmed, the skipper who made an equally brilliant 42-ball 56 not out.
Earlier in the day, Islamabad, the defending champions, went down by six wickets against Lahore.
Quetta were in a spot of bother early in their chase after losing Ahmed Shahzad (11) and Asad Shafiq (11) to Sohail Khan, the paceman, and their problems were compounded by the departure of Kevin Pietersen for a first-ball duck, also dismissed by Sohail, as they slumped to 30 for 3.
But Rossouw, who hit seven boundaries and three sixes, and Sarfraz ensured Quetta didn’t lose any further steam through their partnership as Karachi never looked like taking wickets beyong Sohail’s fiery opening spell of 3 for 23.
Sarfraz hit four boundaries and a six off 42 balls.
Earlier, Karachi were lifted to a competitive total by Babar Azam, the Pakistan international who made a 42-ball 50 with four hits to the fence and one over it.
Chris Gayle flopped for a second time, although he threatened to score big when he smashed a six before offering a return catch to Thisara Perera, the Sri Lankan paceman, for 10. Kumar Sangakkara shaped well during his 25 while Shahzaib Hasan (19), Ravi Bopara (16), Shoaib Malik (15) and Kieron Pollard (14) all got good starts but did not capitalise on those.
Perera was Quetta’s most successful bowler with 3 for 34.
Karachi have lost both their matches and will now need to lif their standards. The fourth day’s action will see Peshawar face Lahore in Sunday’s only game.