The Lahore Qalandars sprung up another surprise in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2019 as they hammered the Quetta Gladiators for an eight-wicket win in Dubai on Wednesday.
Batting first, Quetta were dismissed for an embarrassing 106 runs, thanks to a world-class spell from Nepalese spinner Sandeep Lamichhane. In reply, the Qalandars comfortably chased down the target in 16.3 overs.
Let’s take a look at some major takeaways from a brilliant all-round performance from the Qalandars.
Sandeep Lamichhane’s magical spell was one for the ages
Skipper Fakhar Zaman brought in Sandeep Lamichhane in the third over after Shaheen Afridi had to leave the field due to a sore back. Lamichhane dismissed Shane Watson in his first over and came back to dismiss Rilee Rossouw and Umar Akmal in his second over. But the leg-spinner wasn’t done yet. In his third over of the spell, he picked Danish Aziz and in a match winning performance, Lamichhane ended up with mind-boggling figures of 4-10 in his four overs.
Ab de Villiers shows that he's still got it
Ab de Villiers came in to bat when Lahore were two down in their chase of the modest target. He read the situation and played till the end to take his team over the finish line. De Villiers’ 47 off 38 balls included seven fours at a strike-rake of 123.
Haris Sohail can anchor Lahore's batting
Haris Sohail finally got a start in this edition of the PSL and he didn’t disappoint. He hit just three boundaries for his 33 runs off 42 balls, but his timing was impeccable. More importantly though, Sohail showed he can be an asset for Lahore’s unpredictable batting line — by opening the innings and playing an anchoring role in the middle overs.
Quetta Gladiators suddenly look fragile
The Gladiators have now lost two in two and suddenly look a world apart from the team that won their opening four matches in a row. The batsmen were blown away from a special spell by Lamichhane, but even after the leg-spinner had exhausted his overs, Quetta failed to make it back in the game. The Gladiators have slipped to second due to the loss but have a game in hand over new league-leaders Islamabad United.
Quetta Gladiators find an express pacer in Mohammad Hasnain
Eighteen-year-old Mohammad Hasnain arrived on the scene by dismissing Zaman on only the second ball he bowled in the match. And he did something else too. From the get-go, Hasnain was bowling in excess of 140kph and going as fast as 149kph on the speed gun. If Hasnain can continue to ball at this pace and keeps his line and length in good shape, he can turn into a valuable pacer for Quetta in the upcoming matches.
Shane Watson must address sudden slump
Watson has now scored 32 runs in his previous three matches for Gladiators and is proving to be a worry for skipper Sarfraz Ahmed. Quetta desperately need their star batsman back, as the Gladiators have now lost two consecutive matches after a brilliant start to the campaign. If Watson comes back to form, it’ll give the rest of the team the motivation to get back to their winning ways.