Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez’s brilliant batting show at the National Stadium Karachi helped Lahore register a comprehensive win over Quetta Gladiators.

Chasing 179 to win captain Sohail Akhtar and Fakhar Zaman provided an excellent foundation at the top as they added 64 for the first wicket.

Quetta was relying heavily on their spinners but Fakhar neutralized Zahid Mehmood by depositing him for two boundaries in his first over. Zahid showed better control in his second over and deceived Akhtar with the wrong one to dismiss the Lahore captain for 21.

With Lahore needing 110 runs from last 10 overs, Fakhar and Hafeez decided to take on Zahid and mustered 13 runs in his third over. Fakhar led the charge for Lahore as he brought up his fifty in only 31 balls.

Hafeez was dropped by young Saim Ayub when he was at 24, as the veteran all-rounder hit the accelerator button after the missed chance. Hafeez kept dealing in boundaries as he brought Qalandars closer to the target by completing his fifty in just 24 balls.

Quetta pacers were all at sea and had no answer to the onslaught. It took both players just 53 balls to bring up 100 run partnership.

Usman Shinwari went for 37 runs in his last two overs as Lahore continued to race towards the target. Fakhar 82* and Hafeez 73* remained unbeaten with a 115-run partnership as the duo took Lahore over the line.

In the first innings, a 101-run partnership between Chris Gayle and Sarfaraz Ahmed helped Quetta Gladiators reach 178-6.

Chris Gayle, who is departing for Sri Lanka to feature for West Indies came in next and made his intentions clear with a boundary on the first ball. At the other end, Saim Ayub, who opened the innings in place of Sarfaraz Ahmed, tried to take on Shaheen Afridi but was caught at mid-on for 3.

Quetta needed their captain to step up and Sarfaraz was up to the task. Safaraz struck Shaheen for back to back boundaries in his first two balls at the crease.

Gayle got a life when he was batting at 20 as he was dropped at 20 by Agha Salman in the deep. Sarfaraz and Gayle combined to rebuild the Gladiators innings as they kept rotating the strike and hitting an odd boundary in every over.

It was clearly a lucky day for Gayle as he was dropped again by Agha Salman in the 11th over. Gayle made full use of the missed chances as he brought up his fifty in only 32 balls. Sarfaraz also joined the party by sweeping Rashid Khan for a four, to complete 100-run partnership with Gayle.

Nawaz dispatched Shaheen for two monstrous sixes. The left-hander played a brisk 33-run knock from 20 balls to take Quetta to a competitive total.

The story was filed by the News Desk.
The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

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