A straightforward Quetta Gladiators head coach Moin Khan blamed average umpiring and poor shot selection for his team’s narrow one-run defeat in the first eliminator against Peshawar Zalmi in Lahore¬†on Tuesday.

But Quetta went down fighting off the last ball with 25 needed in the last over with Anwar Ali smacking three sixes and a boundary to bring the target down to three off the last delivery. Anwar’s dropped¬†catch at long on ended in Mir Hamza bring run out at the non-striker’s end as the batsmen tried to take a second run.

Quetta were recovered by Sarfraz Ahmed (35) and Mohammad Nawaz (35) during their 63-run third wicket stand but both fell off successive Sameen Gul delivery while Thisara Perera was caught at long-off by substitute fielder Chris Jordan.

“For me, the turning point was two-wicket falling in the same over,” said Moin of Sarfraz and Nawaz’s wickets. “Then I would say average umpiring with four substitute fielders on the field so an umpire like Aleem Dar should have noticed that.

“Jordan took that important catch and had there been an injured player there it would have been different, so I would say that it was average umpiring. How can four substitute fielders can be on.”

Moin praised Anwar for his aggressive batting.

“Anwar played well and that should have been two runs,” said Moin of the last ball drama. “Had Hamza been ready it would have ended in a super over. We were behind in the last five overs with five being scored in each of them, had it been we would have reached the target before.”

Moin lamented some overseas players did not come to Pakistan even after commitment.

“Shane Watson did not come even after commitment,” said Moin of his key Australian allrounder. “Kevin Pietersen had said before the event that he will not come and it was he who took us to the final last year.”

Published by Shahid Hashmi

The writer is the senior sports correspondent for ARY News.