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Gayle, Sarfaraz century partnership helps Quetta set 179-run target

Lahore Qalandars won the toss and opted to field first

Gayle, Sarfaraz century partnership helps Quetta set 179-run target PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

A 101-run partnership between Chris Gayle and Sarfaraz Ahmed helped Quetta Gladiators reach the highest total of this HBL PSL season, 178-6, against Lahore Qalandars on Monday at National Stadium, Karachi.

Lahore Qalandars decided to bowl first and were rewarded in the second over after Tom Banton (4) top-edged a delivery from Haris Rauf to third man.

Chris Gayle came in next and made his intentions clear with a boundary on the first ball. At the other end, Saim Ayub, who opened the innings in place of Sarfaraz Ahmed, tried to take on Shaheen Afridi but was caught at mid-on for 3.

Quetta needed their captain to step up and Sarfaraz was up to the task. Safaraz struck Shaheen for back to back boundaries in his first two balls at the crease.

Gayle got a life when he was batting at 20 as he was dropped at 20 by Agha Salman in the deep. Sarfaraz and Gayle combined to rebuild the Gladiators innings as they kept rotating the strike and hitting an odd boundary in every over.

It was clearly a lucky day for Gayle as he was dropped again by Agha Salman in the 11th over. Gayle made full use of the missed chances as he brought up his fifty in only 32 balls. Sarfaraz also joined the party by sweeping Rashid Khan for a four, to complete 100-run partnership with Gayle.

Lahore brought Rauf back in to the attack and the pacer broke the partnership by dismissing Sarfaraz for 40. Gladiators were dealt another blow in the next over as Rashid Khan clean bowled Gayle for 68.

Azam Khan and Mohammad Nawaz were the new batsmen at the crease as Quetta looked to build on the platform set by Gayle and Sarfaraz. Azam was caught at long on for 13, while trying to up the ante.

Nawaz took a particular liking to Shaheen, as he dispatched the left-arm pacer for two monstrous sixes. The left-handed all-rounder played a brisk 33-run knock from 20 balls to take Quetta to a competitive total.