Mohammad Sami defended five runs in the last over as Islamabad United snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by a mere one run against Quetta Gladiators in Dubai on Friday (February 24).
Quetta needed 17 off the last three overs after Kevin Pietersen’s 43-ball 69 and Ahmed Shehzad’s 51-ball 59, and their stand of 113 for the second wicket, set the team on course. But all hell broke loose as Islamabad staged a remarkable fightback.
Sami beat Anwar Ali off the first two deliveries before a single brought Rilee Rossouw on strike. The South African left-hander also missed one ball and then tried to steal a second which saw Ali run out at the non-striker’s end.
Rossouw only managed a single off the final delivery, which sent Islamabad’s players into a frenzy as victory meant they had eight points from seven games.
Having already qualified for the play-offs, Quetta kept their march towards the title on course with another domineering display in all three departments – till the last over changed the course of the match.
Quetta have now lost two matches, and with four wins and one no-result, they have ten points.
Shehzad smashed five boundaries and a six to follow up his half-century in the last match against Karachi Kings on Thursday, while Pietersen — who had three noughts in the event — knocked three sixes and six fours.
When Pietersen became a victim to a shocking leg-before decision by Ahsan Raza, the umpire, and a run later Shehzad holed out, Quetta needed just 17 for victory at a run-a-ball with seven wickets in hand, a formality which turned out to be their undoing.
Earlier, the 20-year-old Hussain Talat, playing his first match in the PSL, steadied Islamabad to 165 for 6 with an impressive 39-ball 56 with six boundaries and two sixes. The talented left-hander added 60 with Rafatullah Mohmand, who made 17, for the second wicket.
Shane Watson gave the much needed impetus to the innings with a whirlwind 16-ball 29 with two sixes and as many fours. Veterans Misbah-ul-Haq (25) and Brad Haddin (22) also made useful contributions.
In the end, their total proved to be just enough.
Earlier in the day, Lahore Qalandars also squandered a chance to reach the play-offs as they lost to Peshawar Zalmi by 17 runs.
On Saturday, Karachi Kings will meet Lahore. If Lahore win, then Karachi will be out of the play-offs. The second match will pit Peshawar against Quetta Gladiators.