Recent Match Report – Kings vs Gladiators 4th Match 2021/22



Babar Azam top-scored with 32* for Kings but Quetta Gladiators chased it down in 15.5 overs

Quetta Gladiators 114 for 2 (Ahsan 57*, Smeed 30) beat Karachi Kings 113 (Babar 32*, Naseem 5-20) by eight wickets

Karachi Kings might have the advantage of playing at home, but they were all at sea in an abject showing against Quetta Gladiators on Saturday. In a contest that the Gladiators appeared to have sealed before the first powerplay was up, Sarfaraz Ahmed’s side thumped Babar Azam‘s by eight wickets, skittling the Kings out for 114 before coasting to victory in 15.5 overs. Naseem Shah was the chief instigator behind the Kings implosion, his first ever T20 five-fer wreaking havoc at the top and tail of Kings’ innings. He had never before taken more than two wickets in a T20 innings, but richly deserved the 5 for 20 his figures showed today.

Sohail Tanvir had Sharjeel Khan drag on in the third over, and from thereon, the Gladiators kept Babar off strike while wreaking carnage at the other end. Naseem cleaned up Tom Lammonby, Mohammad Nabi and Lewis Gregory before the completion of the seventh over, reducing the Kings to 34 for 5, before Sarfaraz’s men chipped away regularly enough to ensure the Kings never really managed to regain the foothold they had lost so early in the contest.

While Babar remained undismissed, there remained a sliver of hope for his side, and when Aamer Yamin teamed up with him, he finally appeared to have a batting partner who was providing him some support. A six off Nawaz got him going, with Babar creaming a couple of fours off Hasnain a couple of overs later. But just life seemed to be surging back into the contest, Babar nicked off to the keeper, and after another four and a six, so did Yamin. There was little salvaging a wretched innings by this point, despite a little cameo from Imad Wasim, and the 2020 champions ended up folding for 114.

Quetta effectively sealed the game with the opening partnership, another big stand setting up their innings perfectly. Will Smeed was less explosive than he’d been on Friday, managing 30 off 35, but when Lammonby held on sensationally to a dipper at deep point, Smeed and Ahsan Ali had wracked up 76 in 11 overs, and the game as a contest was over.

Ahsan did his burgeoning reputation no harm with another half-century replete with a combination of sweet timing and blistering power. The 28-year old finished unbeaten with 57 off 43 to go with his 73 the previous day. He did find himself involved in the awkward run-out of Ben Duckett, who, dashing to the danger end, found himself mysteriously turned away by the Pakistani.

But the Englishman’s frustration was quickly forgotten when Sarfaraz strode out and finished the game in style with three successive boundaries to make amends for a game they really should have won against Peshawar Zalmi on Friday. The Kings, meanwhile, have lost both, without ever looking like any other outcome was possible in either game.

Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000


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