Samit Patel and Ben Dunk. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The deadlock has been broken, the Lahore Qalandars finally have something to play for. With explosive batting performances coming from Ben Dunk and Samit Patel, they first registered a score in excess of 200 batting first and defended it with authority. This is the first win for Lahore having lost seven games on the trot (Four games in the last season).

They didn’t get the best of starts, with Chris Lynn and Fakhar Zaman playing some uncharacteristic cricket. The duo approached a bit cautiously and there were a few hits and misses as well. Both openers fell in quick succession and Mohammad Hafeez followed the suit with a first-ball duck. At 50/3, it seemed like the Qalandars will struggle to get anywhere past the 150-mark once again.

But the experienced Samit Patel and the explosive Ben Dunk ensured the home crowd at the Gaddafi stadium witnessed something special. The duo played some blazing shots and went straight to the fifth gear after seeing out a couple of overs. Dunk completed his half-century first and post that, he just dealt in sixes.

Samit Patel too joined the act and got to his half-century as the duo completed a 100-run stand. It seemed for a second that Dunk would get close to his hundred, but Samit Patel took bulk of the strike in the last three overs. Both players were eventually dismissed in the final over of the innings with Dunk scoring 93 off 43 deliveries, which includes 3 fours and 10 sixes. Samit Patel chipped in with a 40-ball 71.

The Qalandars posted 209 runs batting first, losing five wickets. Ben Cutting picked up two wickets for the Gladiators, but the pick of their bowlers was Mohammad Hasnain, who returned with figures of 1/32.

Mountain too steep to climb for Quetta Gladiators

Scores in excess of 200 always put great mental pressure on the batsmen while chasing and it doesn’t get easy when they lose early wickets. Much to the disappointment of the Gladiators, they lost three wickets in the powerplay, losing Jason Roy, Ahsan Ali and Sarfaraz Ahmed. Right after the powerplay, Shane Watson too was dismissed and the road after that was always disastrous.

In this precarious situation, Ben Cutting tried his best to restore some pride for the Gladiators. He smashed a 27-ball half-century and stitched a brilliant partnership with Fawad Ahmed towards the end. Once Cutting was dismissed for 53, the remainder was just a formality.

The defending champions got bowled out for 172 runs in 20 overs. Salman Irshad starred with the ball for the hosts, who registered figures of 4/30, whilst Samit Patel, Dilbar Hussain and Faizan Khan returned with a brace each.

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