Tuesday night’s Pakistan Super League match featured a high number of runs as Quetta Gladiators outplayed Peshawar Zalmi by 8 wickets in Rawalpindi. As Peshawar batted first, Babar Azam guided the team to a massive total of 240/2 in 20 overs, with the captain scoring a stunning century (115 off 65 deliveries). But, because to an amazing power-hitting performance by England’s Jason Roy in Rawalpindi, the Gladiators were able to reach the goal with 10 balls remaining.
Roy led the Gladiators to a spectacular victory and recorded the best individual score in PSL history with 145 runs off just 63 deliveries while hitting 20 fours and five sixes.
High scores were scored by both teams in the game, although Babar Azam once again came under fire for his rapid scoring rate. Babar got off to a fast start in his innings, but as he neared his century, he slowed down significantly. He had hit 83 runs off of 46 deliveries when he took 14 more to get his century.
The significant dip in run totals wasn’t overlooked, and Simon Doull, a former New Zealand cricketer who was broadcasting the match, criticised Babar for prioritising his individual achievements over the team’s objective.
“Rather than putting the team first… the last little while, that’s all that been happening. Rather than looking for boundaries, still so much firepower to come. Hundreds are brilliant, stats are great, but it has to be team first,” Doull said during his commentary stint.
In just 13.3 overs, Babar and Saim Ayub (74 off 34 deliveries) put together a 162-run partnership for the first wicket. After that, Rovman Powell added a quick 35 runs off 18 deliveries to enable the Zalmi reach 240/2 for the innings.
Wahab Riaz’s brilliant caught-and-bowled dismissal of Martin Guptill (21 off 8 balls), however, did result in Quetta losing an early wicket. Will Smeed (26) and Mohammad Hafeez (41*) played supporting roles in a resounding victory for the Mohammad Nawaz-led Gladiators, but Jason Roy was the Gladiators’ mastermind. With the victory, Gladiators improved to fifth place in the standings with three victories from nine games.
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