Australian Watson carries Quetta to PSL final
KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Shane Watson's all-round performance carried Quetta Gladiators to its third Pakistan Super League final with a 10-run victory over Peshawar Zalmi in the qualifier on Wednesday.
Peshawar will have another chance to make it to the final when it takes on the winner between Karachi Kings and defending champions Islamabad United.
Watson smashed 71 off 43 balls with six sixes and five boundaries and lifted Quetta to 186-6 after Peshawar captain Darren Sammy of the West Indies won the toss and elected to field.
Sammy (46) and Kieron Pollard (44) led a gallant Peshawar fightback with an 83-run stand off 36 balls before Watson conceded 10 runs in the last over to restrict Peshawar to 176-7.
Needing 21 off the last over, Pollard smashed Watson over midwicket for a six off the second ball before the Australian seamer uprooted the West Indian middle stump off the third delivery.
And Peshawar lost its last hope when Sammy, who hit five sixes and two boundaries, was run out while attempting to regain the strike off the next ball.
Peshawar, which lost the final to Islamabad last year, got off track once it lost Pakistan discard Kamran Akmal (23) in the sixth over. Veteran Misbah-ul-Haq could contribute only 18 before he was out lbw to seamer Mohammad Hasnain (2-28) in the 14th over as Peshawar slipped to 90-5.
But Sammy and Pollard entertained a large crowd at the National Stadium with their clean hitting before Watson denied Peshawar in the last over.
Earlier, Watson kept Quetta innings going at a brisk pace with local Ahsan Ali, who contributed a useful 46 off 32 balls.
Both batsmen shared 111-run second wicket stand before Peshawar pulled back through left-arm seamer Wahab Riaz (2-26).
Riaz had Watson clean bowled in the 12th over and also got rid of dangerous Umar Akmal (22).