Faheem’s quickfire fifty help United set up 200 runs target for Gladiators

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A quickfire late half century by Faheem Ashraf helped his team to reach a formidable-looking total of 199-8 against Quetta Gladiators in the 18th match of the Pakistan Super League’s seventh edition at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore.

Quetta Gladiators captain Sarfaraz Ahmad won the toss and elected to field first. United were off to a fiery start with Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Alex Hales started punishing the bowlers right from the word go. However, Nasim Shah cut short Gurbaz innings when the later dragged a ball to his stumps. He made 19 runs off 13 balls hitting a six and two fours.

However, Hales continued to his blasting bets and United finished the powerplay scoring 58 runs for the loss of one wicket. Hales soon reached his half century off just 32 balls while new batsman Shadab Khan just played a supporting role mostly rotating the strike.

United reached 100 runs mark at the end of the 10th over before their progress was severely dam-aged by all-rounder Shahid Khan Afridi.

Afridi rolled back years with the ball as he fin-ished his four overs spell for 2-27 and took both wickets in his last over.

Afridi picked all-important wicket of United captain Shadab Khan and removed M Akhlaq. His huge appeal against Hales also led to a mix up that ended in Hales being run out in the same over. Hales was out after scoring 62 runs off 38 balls and hitting four sixes and as many fours in his innings.

In the first ball of very next over, Afridi’s direct hit also ended the short stay of Azam Khan on the crease.

It may be mentioned that Afridi started his PSL 7 campaign in Karachi leg after recovering from Covid-19 against the same opponents and was bru-tally assaulted by United batsmen as leaked out 67 runs in his four overs and took one wicket. Quetta’s debutant Noor Ahmad picked the important wicket of Asif Ali and things started looking gloomy for United after an unceremonious middle-order collapse. However, Faheem had other ideas.—Agencies

 

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