An Analysis of Quetta Gladiators’ Failed Campaign in PSL 8

Quetta Gladiators find themselves on the verge of elimination from the ongoing edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) after suffering a two-wicket defeat against Islamabad United.

Having won just two matches out of their eight encounters in the ongoing season, the Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side stands at the bottom of the points table with a run rate of -1.344.

Despite having renowned T20 specialists in their squad, Quetta Gladiators do not seem to be in the good form that the shortest format, particularly franchise cricket, demands.

Gladiators started their campaign with a nine-wicket defeat and then failed to finish their seventh game in their favor which was almost in their grip. They, however, won their eighth game in a thrilling encounter as Martin Guptill carried them over the line.

The question of how it all happened in these eight encounters and why it happened is a mystery. Some are blaming Sarfaraz Ahmed’s captaincy, others are pointing fingers at the entire team for not giving their 100%.

There are many visible factors that narrate the story of how one of the most dominant sides in the competition’s history failed to showcase the best of its performance.

The opening spot is one of the things that sets the stage for a team to put a handsome total on the board at the end of innings or help the side chase big totals.

However, for Quetta Gladiators, the performance of openers this season is nothing but a sorrowful tale, despite testing six different players for the spot in eight of their encounters.

Sarfaraz kept faith in two renowned openers, Jason Roy and Martin Guptill in the first few games, and also entrusted Abdul Bangalzai in their fourth game while Omair Yousuf opened the innings in their last game.

The highest opening stand for Gladiators in the competition, so far, is 53 runs, which came against Qalandars with Yasir Khan and Will Smeed opening the batting.

Matches M1M2M3M4M5M6M7M8
Opening Stand10/10/128/15/15/153/13/114/1

One of the weak points for Gladiators in the ongoing edition has been their inability to utilize the first six overs to their advantage, particularly on these batting-friendly surfaces.

In the last eight encounters, the highest runs scored by the Sarfaraz-led batting unit in the batting powerplay is 61 against Islamabad United.

Out of eight powerplays, the Gladiators managed to score more than 50 runs twice, while their lowest score in the batting powerplay was 23 against Peshawar Zalmi.

Matches M1M2M3M4M5M6M7M8

Building a partnership remained a major problem for Quetta Gladiators as their batters failed to stitch together crucial partnerships, particularly in the middle of the innings.

The highest partnership for Gladiators was 104 runs off 64 balls in a match against Islamabad United.

Matches M1M2M3M4M5M6M7M8
Batters Hafeez-HasnainGuptill-IftikharSarfaraz-IftikharGuptill-RoyHafeez-SarfarazSmeed-YasirNawaz-ZadranGuptill-Sarfaraz
Runs 31 (29)69 (52)74 (50)47 (36)69 (45)53 (48)104 (64)95 (57)

Despite having hard hitters such as Guptill, Roy, Akmal, Iftikhar, and Hafeez in their lineup, the Gladiators have not been able to showcase their strength in scoring quick runs.

Gladiators have not been able to score the first 100 runs quickly which is the demand of modern cricket.

In their first game of the competition against an inexperienced bowling unit, the Gladiators took 17.4 overs to score their first hundred runs, which is way below the requirement of modern-day cricket.

Gladiators’ quickest 100 runs were scored in 11.4 overs in their fifth game against Islamabad United, while the second-quickest came in 15.3 overs against Lahore Qalandars and in their recent match.

Matches M1M2M3M4M5M6M7M8
First 10017.4 overs15.4 overs16.1 overs14.1 overs11.4 overs15.3 overs14.1 overs15.3 overs

The Gladiators’ batters were also unable to effectively use the death overs in their favor to score quick runs, in order to post a respectable total or chase the required target easily.

One of the strongest batting units scored their highest runs of 42 in the second game against Karachi Kings, while they scored their lowest of 13 runs in the last two overs of their fourth game.

In their campaign opener, the Men in Purple did not manage to play the full 20 overs and scored only 18 runs in the last two overs of their innings against Multan Sultans.

Matches M1M2M3M4M5M6M7M8
Runs in last 2 overs1842271326162622

After delivering a phenomenal performance in the Test series against New Zealand earlier this year, Sarfaraz Ahmed was expected to be one of the top performers of the season.

However, being an experienced and responsible player, the wicket-keeper batter failed to rescue his side in the middle for which he received criticism in the cricket fraternity.

Compared to the other five captains, the Champion Trophy-winning captain is not only far behind, but questions are also being raised about his abilities.

Mohammad RizwanBabar AzamImad WasimShaheen ShahShadab KhanSarfaraz Ahmed 
Runs 3581783591527162

Despite having one of the most competent bowling units, the Gladiators’ bowlers were no different from their batters, as they were not as consistent as they should have been.

The star pacers, Naseem, Hasnain, and all-rounder, Mohammad Nawaz, who have also been in the national squad, seem to be below par compared to their usual standards.

So far, Mohammad Hasnain and Mohammad Nawaz have taken eight wickets, Naseem Shah has seven, while Odean Smith has taken five wickets, respectively,

Bowlers Matches Wickets Average Best 
Mohammad Hasnain5819.373/13
Odean Smith6542.402/41
Mohammad Nawaz8828.502/17
Naseem Shah8731.572/31
Qais Ahmad3426.502/36

Although the bowling unit succeeded in getting early wickets in the powerplays, they were unable to contain runs as they conceded more than 40 runs in six of their eight matches.

The highest score they conceded in the powerplays was 77 in their seventh game, while the lowest score was 29 runs in their sixth encounter of the season.

Matches M1M2M3M4M5M6M7M8
Runs conceded in powerplay45/145/353/365/239/229/477/253/3

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