Dubai: Shane Watson and Umar Akmal steered Quetta Gladiators to an emphatic seven-wicket win after left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir and leg spinner Fawad Ahmad restricted Islamabad United to a moderate total of 157 for eight in the sixth match of the Pakistan Super League at the Dubai International Stadium.
Watson cracked an unbeaten 88 off 55 balls with six boundaries and four sixes while Akmal hit 44 runs off 28 balls with five boundaries and two sixes to take their team over the line.
It was Islamabad’s second successive defeat as their batting cracked under pressure. Tanvir (four for 21) gave Quetta a sensational start after they elected to field. He had Islamabad opener Luke Ronchi caught by Ahmad Shahzad at point with the first ball of the day and in the same over, he also had Shadab Khan caught and bowled for a double-wicket maiden over.
Rizwan Hussain got a boundary off Ghulam Mudassar in the second over but Mohammad Nawaz trapped him leg before for five in the fourth.
Hussain Talat tried to get his team out of trouble scoring a boundary and a six off successive balls from Mohammad Irfan.
He also hit Mudassar for three straight boundaries in the sixth over before his partner Cameron Delport fell to Fawad Ahmad for 19. Talat also departed immediately after being bowled by Fawad for 30.
Next man Faheem Ashraf scored just one run before becoming another Fawad’s victim. Wayne Parnell and Asif Ali kept the scoreboard moving but Tanvir ended the 35-run partnership by dismissing Ali for 36.
Parnell, too, became Tanvir’s fourth victim after scoring 41 runs.
Chasing the target, Watson and Ahmad Shahzad started cautiously. Left-arm spinner Samit Patel was quick to pick a wicket in the third over removing Shahzad for just two.
Rilee Rossouw began aggressively with a straight boundary before Watson also sent one to the ropes in the same over of Patel.
Watson followed it up with two boundaries off Ashraf. Watson and Rossouw put on 25 runs in two overs when Rumman Raees had Rossouw caught at mid-off by skipper Mohammad Sami for 10.
Umar Akmal, the hero of the match against Peshawar Zalmi with an unbeaten 75, joined Watson and made his intentions clear with a couple of boundaries and sixes.
At the half way mark, Quetta made 85 for two needing another 73 runs from 60 balls.
Akmal was in full flow and looked all set for his half century when he was caught and bowled by Delport for 44.
The pair put on 62 runs for the third wicket in 7.3 overs.
Sarfraz joined Watson and in the last five overs, Quetta needed 38 off 30 deliveries. Watson hit Delport and Raees for sixes and guiding his team to victory with 10 balls to spare.
Quetta Gladiators beat Islamabad United by seven wickets.
Islamabad United 157 for 8 in 20 overs (Hussain Talat 30, Asif Ali 36, Wayne Parnell 41, Sohail Tanvir 4 for 21, Fawad Ahmad 3 for 15)
Quetta Gladiators 161 for 3 in 18.1 overs (Shane Watson 81n.o, Umar Akmal 44) Man of the Match: Shane Watson.