Shane Watson showed his class by taking Gladiators to the final of the HBLPSL cricket season 4. Another close cricket contest between Zalmi and Gladiators where Gladiators won by 10 runs. Shane Watson using his experience with the ball and bat though, he hasn’t bowled for last 4 month but proved himself a legendary all-rounder of T20 cricket. 

In the first Qualifier of HBLPSL 2019 at Karachi, Peshawar Zalmi skipper Darren Sammy won the toss and asked Gladiators to bat first. Ahmad Shahzad the almost centurion from the last cricket match only scored one run and get bowled of Tymil Mills who was quick and fiery tonight. Shane Watson, on the other hand, stayed firm and calm in his crease,  played some beautiful cricket shorts and scored 71 off 43 balls. Ahsan Ali the new entity also batted well for Quetta and scored 46 off 32 balls. It was very interesting to see Wahab Riaz bowling short pitch deliveries to Shane Watson. It was a straightish delivery from Wahab Riaz that Watson tries to cuts by making room and banged straight into his wickets.

Quetta scored 104 runs in the first 10 overs but it was the next 10 where Zalmi came back strongly and stopped Quetta from scoring 200 or more. Quetta ended up on 186 for the loss of 6 wickets. The boundaries of the cricket stadium were stretched about 10 meters which had made this game more interesting. 

Zalmi is a strong bowling side, I wonder why they went for a chase. They have the ability and capacity to defend any total. It’s the chasing where they lack and we have seen this in the whole season. Zalmi scored with the run-rate of 6 per over in the first ten which Darren Sammy had himself confess that it is always hard to score 16 runs per over in the last 8 overs in any cricket format. Hats off to Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy the two West Indians fellow who didn’t give up the chase and fought till the end. At one stage it was looked that they might get there. In the end, they just fall 10 runs short. 

Fawad Ahmad one of the best leg spinners of the league was hit hard and straight on his face as the batsman tries to play a short over bowler. He had some serious injury and was sent to the hospital straightway, hope for his quick recovery as Quetta has one match left and that is the all-important final.

The last over from Shane Watson to replace Fawad Ahmad was a gambled by Quetta but its Watson’s night. Watson used up his cricket experience and skills pretty well and bowled a brilliant over under pressure. Though he was hit for a huge six by Kieron Pollard, he held his nerves calm and bowled him up on the very next delivery. For his performance with bat and bowl, he was awarded man of the match. With his superb performance with the bat, he has also become the leading runs scorer of the current season.

Quetta Gladiators have now qualified for the final for the 3rd time in the history of HBLPSL. Peshawar Zalmi will face the winner of eliminator 1 on Friday night. 
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