A supremely out-of-form Ahmed Shehzad’s lethargic 17-ball 10 ramped up the pressure on the rest of Quetta Gladiators batsmen that eventually derailed their run chase against Peshawar Zalmi on Thursday.
Chasing 171 in a rain-shortened 15-over match at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, the defending champions were off to just the start they needed as both their openers — Shane Watson and Jason Roy — had wrestled the run rate of 11.4 under control.
However, when Watson departed with the score at 45-1, in walked Shehzad, who had failed in each of his previous three innings and this one was no different. His half a dozen runs over almost two overs saddled Roy with the pressure who took one too many risks and got out.
Then came the decisive 11th over when Shehzad departed, Ben Cutting did too and that was that. Quetta lost by 30 runs.
Earlier, Shoaib Malik’s brilliant 27-ball 54 and the young Haider Ali’s 39 along with contributions from elsewhere had helped Darren Sammy-less Zalmi to a total of 170-6.
The victory moved Zalmi up to third position on the points table as the Gladiators took their position in fifth just above Lahore Qalandars.