Luke Wright's 86* lights up opening day of PSL as Quetta Gladiators thrash Islamabad United
The long-awaited Pakistan Super League finally got underway in the UAE on Thursday, and a domestic talent has already been unearthed from the first match itself. 21-year-old left arm spin bowling all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz of the Gladiators took figures of 4/13 on a slow turning track, responding to his captain's call to opt to bowl first.
Islamabad, who had Shane Watson and Sam Billings in their ranks, found themselves stumped by the unheralded young spinner. They were floundering at 63/6 in the 15th over, till a rescue act carried out by Misbah-ul-Haq and Andre Russell saw them finish at a respectable total of 128/7 in 20 overs.
In the opening game of his country’s glitzy T20 league, it was only fitting that Misbah ‘Crisis’ ul Haq came in to do for his team what he has been doing for his country for the past few years, coming in to salvage the innings for his team from a troubled position. He scored a 28-ball 41.
Andre Russell's career strike-rate 169.46 is highest in T20 cricket among batsmen with 1000 runs. He scored a 20-ball 35*.
In reply, Luke Wright came up with a scintillating knock to vanquish Islamabad United. Ahmed Shehzad and Kevin Pietersen departed in quick succession, but Wright dominated the strike and the wickets did not create much of a dent to the chase.
Fittingly, it was the young Nawaz who formed a crucial third wicket partnership with Wright, taking their team to the target with 4 overs to spare. Wright finished on a 53-ball 86*, proving that he has only carried his great BBL form into the PSL.
Brief Scores – Quetta Gladiators 132/2 in 16 overs (Wright 86*, Nawaz 22*; Khalid 2/20) beat Islamabad United 128/7 in 20 overs (Misbah 41, Russell 35*; Nawaz 4/13) by 8 wickets