Viv Richards charges, runs around frantically as Gladiators enter PSL playoffs | Crickit

Viv Richards charges onto the ground, runs around frantically as Wasim's last-ball six sends Gladiators to PSL playoffs

Mar 11, 2024 11:03 AM IST

Viv Richards could not control his emotions as Mohammad Wasim smacked Shaheen Afridi for a last ball six to take Quetta Gladiators to PSL 2024 Playoffs.

Quetta Gladiators became the first team to enter the Playoffs of the Pakistan Super League after Mohammad Wasim's last-ball six completed a six-wicket win over Lahore Qalandars at Karachi's National Stadium on Sunday. Chasing 167 to win, the equation came down to 4 needed off the last ball with Wasim Jr. on strike. He had faced just one ball before for a single and with Shaheen Afridi bowling the last ball, all bets were on the left-arm pacer to defend it.

Viv Richards burst into manic celebrations. (Screengrab)
Viv Richards burst into manic celebrations. (Screengrab)

Instead, Shaheen sent down a full toss and Wasim swung the bat with all his might to connect beautifully and send the ball into the stands to trigger euphoria in the Gladiators camp. The excitement levels were so high that even the legendary Viv Richards could not control his excitement and dashed on to the ground. As the players hugged and celebrated, Richards, the mentor of the franchise, put in a hug of his own before running around to another part to embrace the other guys of the Gladiators.

Watch the celebrations:

Richards has been with the Gladiators since 2016 but to see the West Indies legend experience such excitement has been a rare sight. Ahead of the 2023 season, there were doubts over his participation and return with the franchise but Team Manager ended the suspense when he welcomed the Windies great on board. Gladiators became the fourth and final team to qualify for the Playoffs, joining Multan Sultans, Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi while Karachi Kings and Qalandars have been eliminated.

Shaheen's fifty takes Qalandars to decent score

Qalandars were guided over 150 thanks to half-centuries from Abdullah Shafique and Shaheen. Promoting himself at No. 5, Shaheen blasted a half-century off just 28 balls and dished out a finger-on-the-lips celebration. Shaheen's 34-ball 55 included two fours and four sixes that knocked the stuffing out of the Gladiators bowlers in the death over. Abrar Ahmed picked 2/31 to restrict Qalandars to a safe total.

Gladiators got their chase off the mark in style with Jason Roy and Saud Shakeel providing an explosive start to add 39 in 5.1 overs. But once Roy departed, and Rilee Rossouw fell in quick succession as well, the onus was on Shakeel to anchor the chase. He held the innings together and scored most of the runs as Gladiators kept making steady progress in their chase. Shakeel's unbeaten 88 off 65 balls formed the crux of Gladiators' chase as he struck crucial partnerships and took the game deep for Wasim to nail the last-ball thrilling finish.

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