Ben Cutting and Fawad Ahmed combined to end Qalandars’ plucky resistance in the Abu Dhabi T10, and send Deccan Gladiators through to the final.
Cutting, the former Australia all-rounder, made a crucial late counter-attack with the bat to lift the Gladiators to a competitive tally of 116-7 from their 10 overs.
The timing of his effort marked a crucial swing in momentum, and Qalandars proceeded to wither in the face of Fawad.
The Australia leg-spinner took 2-9 from his two overs, as the Gladiators won the last-chance eliminator by 12 runs at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
After losing their first chance at qualifying for the final to Maratha Arabians in the opening game of the day, Qalandars’ captain Dawid Malan had bemoaned the fact his bowlers had erred from their plans.
Against Deccan, they did so much right, up until the onslaught by Cutting in the final over.
At the start of the 10th over, Deccan were 92-7, and Qalandars seemed in complete control.
Four balls later, Cutting had advanced the score by 24, hitting each of them for six off George Garton.
The fact they failed to recover suggested they were running on empty by that point.
That was understandable, given the troubles they have faced over the past three weeks.
They had been forced to find 11 new players at short notice ahead of the tournament, after their entire Pakistan contingent was ruled out by their country’s cricket board.
Even heading in to the knock-out matches, they were deprived more key players.
Tom Banton and Chris Jordan were ruled out through injury, while Mujeeb Ur Rahman also missed out against Deccan.
Without their star trio, they were unable to match up against a Gladiators side who will now face Maratha Arabians in Sunday’s showpiece fixture.