Oh, PSL! Just stop with the continuous supply of thrillers.
Out of 12 matches, after this one between Qalanders and Gladiators, more than half of them went right down the wire; 8 matches finished in 20th over and 3 ended in 19th over.
Lahore Qalanders have, as usual, forced Fawad Rana in a rollercoaster with a tight rope tied around his chest – and this thrills the fans, too. Fakhar went down early, gifting a catch to Umer Akmal at long-on but Sohail Akhtar didn’t stop from the other end. Until the cliche (one brings two) struck and he went down along with Salman Butt.
Considering the current form of Quetta Gladiators, the chances of it getting to the last overs looked dodgy. But the early wicket of Shane Watson brought more than just hope.
Let’s get started with the ratings on the GPA scale:
GPA = 3.8
They say, “cricket is a great leveler” and it shows why. David Wiese, exactly at a distance of 24 hours, was raising his arms to the heavens and celebrating it with thousand of Lahore fans. A six that was worth a million runs. But today he was on the receiving end. Ah! Those all-rounders.
Yesterday, Dan Christian missed the blockhole by a little distance which became a hittable ball and today Wiese missed the blockhole presenting a low full-toss to Sarfraz to hit it for six. This is the beauty of cricket and Fawad Rana is still the beauty of PSL with his priceless emotions, zest for the game and a heart made of rock from inside.
Doing an India of CT final:
GPA = 3.8
Remember Fakhar Zaman and Azhar Ali giving some run-out chances to India in Champions Trophy final at the start? Lahore did exactly the same today but offered more chances. There were 3 prominent run-out opportunities which were not utilized by Qalanders, rather throws were wayward and runs from overthrows came easily for Quetta.
Although 144 was a very acquirable target, Lahore had their chances in the field for running out Sarfraz and co, but they wasted them. This match had some similarities with the Champions Trophy final match – even the runout of Dwayne Smith was a good throwback.
AB de Villiers:
GPA = 3.3
With a good start from Sohail Akhtar, Lahore soon found themselves in big trouble. However, AB de Villiers was having none of it. He played vital innings and went till the end to ensure a total with which Fawad Rana could get some hopes attached. Lahore is faced with the third injury for their players in the form of ABD today but this one didn’t look as serious as Hafeez’.
Making it a thriller
GPA = 3.9
With the form Quetta Gladiators were in, this was really a cakewalk for them. Umar Akmal, getting out early, proved a rather good thing as Twitter would’ve been exploded with memes if he had performed against his old franchise.
With the wicket of Shane Watson in the first over, Rahat Ali was a bit relieved (not much) for the catch he dropped of Watson in 2015 World Cup. Quetta Gladiators, in this season, looked like Islamabad United of the previous season. A longer tail but the runout of Dwayne Smith standing in the middle of the pitch, like a confused kid in the street, saw the match becoming a thriller.
Hoping for some more thrillers? Who isn’t? Fawad Rana, maybe.