Guptill’s 117 consigns Karachi Kings to third straight defeat

Guptill's 117 consigns Karachi Kings to third straight defeat
Guptill’s 117 consigns Karachi Kings to third straight defeat

Quetta Gladiators 168 for 7 (Guptill 117, Imad 3-16, Yamin 3-37) beat Karachi Kings 162 for 5 (Malik 71*, Irfan 37*, Hasnain 2-29) by six runs

Martin Guptill smashed a 67-ball 117 against Karachi Kings at their home ground to give Quetta Gladiators their first win of PSL 2023. After being put in, Gladiators were 23 for 4 in the seventh over but Guptill not only helped them recover but also lifted them to a competitive total.

He rebuilt the innings with a 69-run stand, off 52 balls, with Iftikhar Ahmed and then dominated the 64-run stand with Mohammad Nawaz, scoring 59 off 20 from his bat. Nawaz’s contribution was three from six balls.

In reply, Kings also landed in early trouble. They were 35 for 3 inside the powerplay, and then 76 for 5 in the 11th over before Shoaib Malik and Irfan Khan revived the chase. The pair brought the equation down to 37 runs needed off the last three overs but Naseem Shah and Mohammad Hasnain strangled them. That left Kings needing 24 from the final over, and Odean Smith gave away only 17 to secure a six-run win for the visitors.

Earlier, Gladiators were pegged back by Imad Wasim, who trapped Jason Roy lbw on the sweep, deceived Abdul Bangalzai to have him stumped, and bowl Umar Akmal to prise out three wickets in his first nine balls. Sarfaraz Ahmed mistimed a pull to hand Aamer Yamin his first wicket right after a 23-run powerplay.

Guptill had opened his account with a couple of boundaries but was tied down by the loss of early wickets. He and Iftikhar Ahmed focused on strike rotation and struck the odd boundary to keep the innings afloat. Iftikhar’s wicket in the 15th over was a setback but Guptill continued finding the occasional boundary and brought up his fifty.

Guptill was dropped on 61 off Andrew Tye by Sharjeel Khan, and the batter made full use of that. In the 19th over, he looted 30 runs off Tye with the help of three sixes and as many fours.

James Vince scored 22 off 14 balls to give Kings a brisk start but early wickets kept them on the back foot. In the 11th over, Hasnain removed Matthew Wade and Imad Wasim to dent them further.

Malik and Irfan fought hard, adding 86 off 54 balls in an unbroken stand for the sixth wicket, but it wasn’t enough.

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