PSL Quetta Gladiators vs Lahore Qalandars – The 2023 Pakistan Super League is off to an exciting start, with the Lahore Qalandars continuing to demonstrate why they are the defending champions. On February 21, 2023, the Qalandars faced off against the Quetta Gladiators in the 10th match of the tournament, which turned out to be a one-sided affair. The Qalandars dominated with both bat and ball, scoring an impressive 198 for 6 and then restricting the Gladiators to a meager 135 for 8, winning by a massive 63 runs.
The Gladiators’ campaign had been plagued by misfortune from the start. Just hours before the game, it was confirmed that their Platinum pick, Wanindu Hasaranga, would miss the entire PSL, dealing a severe blow to their chances. The Gladiators were never in the chase, and the Qalandars’ bowlers ensured that the scorecard was a true reflection of the game’s one-sided nature.
Shaheen Afridi, the Qalandars’ ace pacer, led the way with the ball, picking up three crucial wickets for just 22 runs in his four overs. His unplayable inswinging yorkers and pinpoint accuracy caused havoc among the Gladiators’ top-order batters, with Jason Roy falling flat on his stomach after being hit on the toes by one such delivery. Afridi also took a stunning diving catch to dismiss Mohammad Hafeez and bowled Odean Smith with a deceptive slower ball. It was a masterful display of bowling that knocked the Gladiators out of the contest early on.
PSL Quetta Gladiators vs Lahore Qalandars – Match Report & Review | Pakistan Super League 2023
Aside from Afridi, the Qalandars’ other bowlers were also on song. Rashid Khan, playing his first game this year, was at his best, taking the crucial wicket of Jason Roy and giving away just 17 runs in his four overs. David Wiese chipped in with three wickets for 23 runs, while Haris Rauf had an off day but still managed to keep things tight. The Gladiators’ batters had no answer to the Qalandars’ relentless bowling attack, and their brief flashes of resistance were quickly snuffed out.
Earlier in the game, the Qalandars’ batsmen had set the tone for their victory with a blistering start. Tahir Baig and Fakhar Zaman got the team off to a flying start, with Baig smashing Mohammad Hafeez for two fours and a six in the first over. Even the normally economical Naseem Shah was unable to stem the flow of runs, with Baig hitting him for two boundaries in the powerplay.
The partnership between Baig and Zaman was eventually broken when Zaman nicked one behind, but the Qalandars continued to dominate. Shai Hope and Kamran Ghulam added 56 runs in the middle overs, while Hussain Talat and Sikandar Raza provided some late fireworks. Raza, in particular, was in fine form, smashing 32 runs off just 16 balls to take the Qalandars close to the 200-run mark.
The Gladiators’ only bright spot in an otherwise forgettable game was the performance of Mohammad Hasnain. The young fast bowler had been heroic in defeat against Peshawar Zalmi the previous day, and he continued his good form against the Qalandars. Hasnain mixed up his lengths and speeds expertly, picking up two wickets and conceding just 14 runs in his two death overs. Without his efforts, the Qalandars’ score would have been even more daunting, and the Gladiators’ margin of defeat would have been much larger.
Quetta Gladiators will be looking to bounce back from their recent defeats when they take on their next opponents in the Pakistan Super League.
Next game will be a must-win game for Gladiators, who are currently at the bottom of the table with just one win from their four matches. They have struggled with both bat and ball so far in the tournament, and will need to step up their game if they are to have any chance of making it to the playoffs.