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GLADIATORS - The Asserted Identity

What the name GLADIATOR has to do with Cricket? How can a team adopt the identity of warriors of two millennium ago who earned their living by entertaining the audiences with their blood and sweat?

If those were the unanswered questions, last night was the night of answers. Quetta Gladiators justified the latter part of their identity for good. 

Dubai Cricket Stadium was filled like a Colosseum of entertainment starved audience gathered to see nothing but a fight of two contingents thirsty for each others Cricketing blood. The crowd wanted a battle not a fight, not a one sided annihilation of one by the other and they got what they wished for.

On a pitch where batting second after winning the toss seemed the undisputed conclusion and the possibility of getting heavier and heavier, as evident as the night only going to get darker, Gladiators started with the disadvantage of losing the toss and as early as on the second ball in of the game, when Bismillah Khan perished, they were put to fight for their survival. However hard they tried, the whole team was blown away like a pack of cards except the two men who stood like the true seasoned and war-hardened GLADIATORS. The ones who did not only weathered the earlier storm but created a whirlwind of their own to turn the tides. Sanga and KP, while they were wise enough to see off the spirited assault of two rookie warriors - Hassan Ali and Asghar - they also had the mastery and shrewdness not to let the pros of the opponent camp - Tait and Afridi - settle down. It looked decisive till it lasted, till the opponents nailed them down along with other GLADIATORS through brilliance of their own. 

At the halfway mark, it looked all done and dusted for Quetta. By all assessments, they were at least 25 to 30 runs short. At the end of 4th over and scorecard reading 29, the Gladiators were literally on the mat. The arrival of heavy dew wouldn't have made things easier for them. But for their credit, they fought it off, till the very end and turned the game from thereon. 

Anyone present at the venue could notice the amount of dew that had come down on the particular night and it definitely looked at least twice as much as compared to any other night. When people left the venue, everyone could see their cars not just moist due to dew but actually dripping wet like it drizzled or rained for a while. Only hours after the game finished, the whole Dubai was engulfed with blinding fog reducing the visibility to as low as 5 feet. That was the extent of the dew factor that the GLADIATORS had to overcome. Then on a ground with shortened boundaries, 160 looked the par score and anything less than that looked like a walk in the park for any chasing side.

But ...... the GLADIATORS refused to bow down and lose their will to stand back up and fight. They stood up for their pride and honor like true GLADIATORS and eventually came out victorious. It turned out to be the kind of display that left even opponents with nothing but the feeling of praise for the GLADIATORS. Deservingly, the audience cheered them on for their show and only to comeback another day, another time to see the GLADIATORS living up to their name again, may be as early as in couple of days time. But whatever happens on Tuesday, GLADIATORS have already validated their claim to the name and there is no reason but to except nothing but another GLADIATOR show. 

GLADIATORS are here to stay, better watch out for them.


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