Sultans bowl Gladiators out for 110 before chasing down target inside 14 overs.
Multan Sultans 111 for 1 (Rossouw 78*, Rizwan 28*, Ihsanullah 5-12) beat Quetta Gladiators 110 all out (Roy 27, Hasnain 22, Thushara 1-21) by 9 wickets.
With Josh Little and Shahnawaz Dahani out, Multan Sultans pace attack was supposed to be their Achilles heel. Step forward 20-year-old Ihsanullah, another one off the Pakistani pace bowling conveyor belt, whose sizzling figures of 4-1-12-5 skittled Quetta Gladiators out for 110. Sultans, led by an undefeated 42-ball 78 from Rilee Rossouw, made short work of that below-par chase, romping to a nine-wicket win with 6.3 overs to spare, and doing their net run rate a favor in the process.
For their third successive game in the tournament, the side that won the toss inserted the opposition in, with Sarfaraz Ahmed having no hesitation inviting Mohammad Rizwan's Sultans to bat first. But Gladiators ran into trouble early on, when the out-of-form Martin Guptill and Abdul Bangalzai holed out to mid-on. Jason Roy appeared to be finding touch at the other end, and with a rejuvenated Sarfaraz now out in the middle, Gladiators needed a partnership.
But Ihsanullah made a mockery of the thought, beating Sarfaraz for pace as he chopped on off his third delivery. He went one better in his second over as Roy miscued one to mid-off, before in-form Iftikhar Ahmed was trapped plumb in front in what would end up being a double-wicket maiden. Umar Akmal, rusty at this level, wasn't much of a match for the speedster either, with extra bounce kissing the outside edge one ball after Usama Mir had trapped Mohammad Nawaz in front. Naseem Shah got a taste of his own medicine and watched his off-stump rock back to give Ihsanullah his fifth. At that point, his figures read 2.4-1-3-5.
It came down to Mohammad Hafeez mysteriously being called up to the squad a few days ago, and equally mysteriously demoted down to number eight. Instead, it was Mohammad Hasnain's little cameo that got Gladiators past 100, before invariably nicking off to the keeper to set Sultans 111 to win.
In the second innings, Nuwan Thushara was finding swing early, and it fetched him Shan Masood's wicket in the second over. But if Gladiators hoped that would turn this game into a low-scoring scrap, Rossouw soon disabused them of that notion. Four successive boundaries off Thushara got Sultans going, and the onslaught only continued. Before long, he had brought his half-century, and the chase was becoming a formality.
Rizwan was content to be a passenger at the other end. His unbeaten 34-ball 28 mainly comprised turning the strike over to the South African. Sultans' only worry by now was the net run rate, and Rossouw was keen to ensure they would get off to the best possible start. With 14 required and Rossouw on strike, an overthrow that got him back on strike was followed by two consecutive sixes that put Gladiators out of their misery.
Courtesy By: Cricinfo.com