Quetta Gladiators skipper Sarfraz Ahmad
Quetta Gladiators skipper Sarfraz Ahmad cuts a delivery to the fence during his unbeaten 52 against Lahore Qalandars at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Saturday. Image Credit: PSL

Sharjah: Quetta skipper Sarfraz Ahmad led an intense battle to down Lahore Qalandars by three wickets in the 12th match of the Pakistan Super League at the Sharjah Stadium on Saturday.

It was another thriller as Quetta needed two runs off the last ball and Sarfraz hit David Wiese for a six over long on to remain unconquered on 52 off 36 balls with four boundaries and a six.

Restricting Lahore to 143 for seven despite AB De Villiers’ unbeaten 45, Quetta extended their winning run in the league to record their fourth victory in as many matches.

Sarfraz and Mohammad Nawaz put on a fighting 54-run sixth-wicket partnership in 6.2 overs that lifted Quetta from a tricky 81 for five by the 13th over. But with tension building up Quetta needed seven runs off the last over. Wiese bowled Anwar Ali for one but Sarfraz, in the company of Sohail Tanvir. ensured the victory.

Batting first, Lahore opener departed early after a lapse in judgement in the second over. He lifted Mohammad Nawaz straight to Umar Akmal at long on.

Opener Sohail Akhtar slashed at Tanvir for a six and also smashed Anwar Ali for a six to keep the scoreboard moving. He put on a 25-run stand in 3.1 overs with Salman Butt before Butt offered a catch to Ahsan Ali at deep midwicket for five off Ghulam Mudassar. In the same over, Mudassar also had Akhtar caught behind by Sarfaraz Ahmad for 29.

The mantle of lifting the team out of trouble fell on De Villiers, who is fresh from his match-winning half century in the match against Multan Sultans, and Corey Anderson who is playing the first match of the PSL this season.

Lahore went past the 50-run mark in the seventh over.

Anderson and De Villiers added 37 more runs before Anderson was out on 19. David Wiese joined De Villiers and steered Lahore past the 100-run mark in the 14th over. They put on 40 runs in 4.5 overs when Tanvir had Wiese caught at deep midwicket for 20. Despite De Villiers remaining unbeaten on 45, Lahore could not cross the 150-run mark.

Lahore got the prized wicket of in-form Shane Watson for a duck when Rahat Ali had him caught at mid-off by substitute Anton Devcich.

Rilee Rossouw and Ahsan Ali added 22 runs in the next 2.5 overs when leg spinner Yasir Shah bowled Rossouw for 17. Umar Akmal (9) lasted 13 balls before Haris Rauf had him caught behind. Sarfraz joined Ali and by the half way mark Quetta needed 74 runs.

In the 12th over, Quetta slipped into trouble when Ali, who was stroking so well, was removed by Sandeep Lamichchane for 40. Much was expected off Dwayne Smith but he got run out through a brilliant fielding from Zaman at cover for two.

Safraz and Mohammad Nawaz steered Quetta past the 100-run mark in the 15th over and in the last five overs they needed 36 runs.