Aussie opener remained unbeaten on 91 runs
Quetta Gladiators defeated Peshawar Zalmi by eight wickets, during the ongoing Habib Bank Limited (HBL) Pakistan Super League in Abu Dhabi.
Chasing a target of 166 runs, opener Shane Watson and Ahmed Shehzad, who came in at the fall of first wicket, stitched a brilliant 129-run partnership to lead their side to comprehensive victory, inside 18 overs.
Watson remained unbeaten on 91 runs off just 55 balls. His commanding innings included six fours and half-a-dozen sixes.
Shehzad was dismissed shortly after scoring a half-century. His 45-ball innings included five boundaries.
Earlier Zalmi posted 165-4 in their allotted 20 overs, after Gladiators’ skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and elected to field first.
Despite the short boundaries, batting was not entirely easy for the Zalmi outfit as they struggled for momentum for a major chunk of the innings.
Openers Andre Fletcher and Kamran Akmal provided a decent start with a 58-run opening stand. The former was dismissed after scoring 26 runs but took 28 balls to get there.
Imamul Haq also failed to get going as he could only muster 13 runs off 14 deliveries.
It came to down to Akmal and Kieron Pollard to provide the innings with some sort of impetus — a job which they did reasonably well.
Akmal, who had struggled for runs in previous matches, scored 72 runs off 50 balls — an innings which included seven fours and four sixes.
Meanwhile Pollard played a brisk unbeaten innings of 44 runs off just 21 balls, with the help of seven fours and a six, to get his team to a competitive total.
Spinners Mohammad Nawaz and Fawad Ahmed made life difficult for the Zalmi batsmen, by making the most of the conditions on offer. The duo claimed a wicket each but only conceded 24 and 25 runs, respectively, in their full quota of four overs.
Young pacer Mohammad Hasnain and all-rounder Dwayne Bravo bagged a wicket each.
For his brilliant innings, Watson bagged the award for the player of the match.
Pakistan will take on Bangladesh in the first of the three-match T20 International series, starting on January 24 in Lahore23/Jan/2020