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Islamabad United vs Quetta Gladiators, PSL 2021

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Gladiators allrounder stretchered off to an ambulance as second innings got underway

Playing his first match of PSL 2021, Quetta Gladiators’ Andre Russell was struck on the helmet while batting and later replaced by fast bowler Naseem Shah under the concussion-sub rule at the innings break. The decision to replace the allrounder with Naseem did not seem to go down well with Islamabad United; their captain Shadab Khan could be seen talking to umpire Aleem Dar before the second innings began.

During the first over of the second innings, Russell was stretchered out from the dressing room to an ambulance. He had received the blow to the head in the 14th over of Gladiators’ innings. He hit two sixes off Muhammad Musa in that over before he was slow on a pull shot to a bouncer from the pacer. After being struck, Russell was checked by a physio and allowed to continue batting, although he was out next ball, caught at third man.

The rules on concussion substitutes state that any concussed player can be replaced by someone outside the XI, as long as the match referee agrees that the incoming player is a like-for-like replacement. Although Russell is a pace-bowling allrounder and Naseem is a specialist fast bowler, the decision to allow Naseem as a replacement might have been based on Russell’s inability to deliver four overs in Gladiators’ bowling innings.

Naseem opened the bowling for Gladiators but, defending 133, conceded four fours in a 19-run first over. Gladiators went on to lose inside 10 overs, the first time in PSL history a side has won by the halfway mark. This was Gladiators’ first match after PSL 2021’s restart in Abu Dhabi.

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx

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