Azam Khan. (Photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)

It isn’t often that we see a youngster soak in immense pressure and bat with a great sense of responsibility. But for the second time in three games, he stood up when his team required him the most. Azam Khan displayed his brilliance with the bat and played another match-winning knock for his side. Even though he is just 21 years old, it doesn’t seem that way watching him in action. The combined efforts from the bowlers, Azam Khan and skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed saw the Quetta Gladiators get back to the winning ways.

For a change, the Karachi Kings opted to bat first after winning the toss. However, that move might not have really worked in their favour. The top-three batsmen – Babar Azam, Sharjeel Khan and Alex Hales struggled to score runs at a good clip. While both the right-handers scored 26 and 29 runs respectively at a strike rate around 110, Khan only got 6 from 12. Cameron Delport did a good job as he raced his way to 22 from 12 but he couldn’t stay in the middle for a longer period. Towards the end, Iftikhar Ahmed contributed with 25 runs as his team got to a meagre 156/9. Mohammad Hasnain picked up three wickets.

Azam Khan seems to be a very promising prospect

In a rare occurrence, both Quetta Gladiators’ openers were dismissed in the form of a run-out. Imad Wasim dismissed Jason Roy with a direct hit for 17 (20 balls) while Shane Watson misjudged a second run and got out for 27 (20 balls). Ahmed Shehzad failed to impress once again as he scored only 11 – his third consecutive score below 15 runs. While things looked gloomy at 55/3, skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and Azam Khan were involved in a great partnership.

The youngster was the aggressor in most part of this partnership until the 17th over. Sarfaraz smashed a six and a four in that over to take his strike rate up from 110 to 143.5. In the next over, however, there was yet another mix-up and this time in was Azam Khan who had to find his way back to the pavilion after he scored 46 off 30. Even Mohammad Nawaz fell in the 19th over. However, Sarfaraz maintained the composure and made full use of his experience. He ensured that he stayed in the middle and saw his team get over the winning line. He got enough support from Anwar Ali who raced his way to 12 and finished the game with a six.

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