DUBAI: A tremendous half century by the captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and second consecutive fifty by South African Rilee Rossouw orchestrated second consecutive win for Quetta Gladiators in Pakistan Super League, a victory of seven wickets against Karachi Kings on Saturday in Dubai.
Rossouw smashed 3 sixes and 7 fours to score 76 off 53 deliveries which helped Quetta Gladiators reach the target for the loss of three wickets with 5 balls remaining. He was well supported by the captain Sarfaraz Ahmed who scored 56 runs off 42 deliveries, his innings included one six over the boundary and four shots hitting the fence.
Both Sarfaraz Ahmed and Rilee Roussouw added 130 runs for the 4th wicket partnership after Quetta lost three quick wickets with only 30 runs on board, chasing a target of 160.
The 130 runs stand between the Gladiatorâ€™s duo is highest 4th wicket partnership to be scored by any team from Pakistan in any category of T20 cricket, surpassing 129 between Nasir Jamshed and Umar Akmal, scored for Lahore Lions vs Multan Tigters in Pakistanâ€™s domestic T20 tournament in 2015.
Sohail earlier removed Ahmad Shehzad, Kevin Pietersen and Asad Shafiq in quick succession, putting the Gladiators well under pressure in their chase of 160.
Earlier, Karachi Kings scored a respectable 159/8 in 20 overs after being put into bat first by Quetta Gladiatorsâ€™ captain Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Karachiâ€™s innings was boosted by Babar Azamâ€™s magnificent half century. Babar scored 50 off 42 deliveries with help of one six and four boundaries before being run out.
Captain Kumar Sangakkara scored 25 off 22 balls but no other Karachi batsman could score much to help Karachi Kings post a defendable total.
Tymal Mills got Gladiators the first breakthrough. Thisara Perera struck second, taking danger-man Chris Gayle down in the fifth over.
Babar Azam and Kumar Sangakkara steadied the ship again until the end of the 11th over, when the former Sri Lankan batsman was caught out off Perera. Sangakkara made 25 runs off 22 deliveries, the second highest score of the innings.
Shortly afterwards, Mohammad Nawaz struck to claim his first wicket of the match, dismissing Kieron Pollard for 14 runs.
Shoaib Malik and Ravi Bopara scored 15 and 16 runs respectively, while Sohail Khan chipped in with 2 runs before being run out by Gladiators skipper and wicket keeper Sarfraz Ahmed.
Azam lost his wicket in the 18th over with a 42-ball half century. Kings scored 159 runs for the loss of 9 wickets after the end of 20 overs.
The Gladiators beat Lahore Qalandars by 8 runs in a low-scoring thriller. Karachi Kings lost their first match to Peshawar Zalmi by 7 wickets last night.
With two wins in two matches, Quetta Gladiators has now jumped to the top in league chart, while the second consecutive defeat has pushed Karachi Kings to the bottom.
Quetta Gladiators: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Kevin Pietersen, Ahmad Shehzad, Luke Wright, Umar Gul, Anwar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Tymal Mills, Zulfiqar Babar, Saad Nasim, Umar Amin, Mohammad Nawaz, Mir Hamza, Hassan Khan, Noor Wali, Bismillah Khan, Thisara Perera, Rilee Rossouw, Nathan McCullum, Mahmudullah
Support staff: Sir Viv Richards (Team Mentor), Moin Khan (Head Coach), Azam Khan (Team Manager), Abdul Razzaq (Assistant/Bowling Coach).
Karachi Kings: Kumar Sangakkara, Shoaib Malik, Chris Gayle, Babar Azam, Ravi Bopara, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Saifullah Bangash, Shahzaib Hasan, Sohail Khan, Kieron Pollard, Ryan Mclaren, Khurram Manzoor, Kashif Bhatti, Abrar Ahmed, Usama Mir, Mahela Jayawardene, Rahat Ali, Hasan Mohsin, Amad Alam
Support staff: Mickey Arthur (head coach and team advisor) Azhar Mahmood (Coach and team advisor) Rashid Latif (team director and team advisor) Shoaib Malik (player and team advisor) Saleem Yousuf (team advisor) Jalaluddin (team advisor)