Karachi Kings outplayed Lahore Qalandars

Pakistan Super League concluded by Karachi Kings winning the title for first time.

Remarkably, Karachi Kings won the PSL title by outplaying the Lahore Qalandars in the final by margin of five wickets and eight balls to spare. The finals were held at Karachi –city of lights without any audience due to COVID-19. The series was put to halt before due to the spread of pandemic, like all other international sporting events.

Chasing Lahore’s 134 for seven wickets in 20 overs, Azam hammered seven boundaries on his way to 63 that helped his team clinch the match with eight balls to spare at the National Stadium here. Karachi finished at 135 for five wickets in 18.4 overs. Karachi speedsters Waqas Maqsood, Umaid Asif, and Arshad Iqbal also played key roles for their team, as they captured two wickets each to check Lahore Qalandars’ progress after Lahore captain Sohail Akhtar won the toss and opted to bat. The top scorer for Lahore was Bangladeshi opener Tamim Iqbal, who scored 35 off 38 balls while Fakhar Zaman chipped in with a 24-ball 27.Chasing, Karachi lost opener Sharjeel Khan (13) early, but Azam kept one end going and ensured that his team crossed the line. The second top scorer was West Indies’ wicket-keeper Chadwick Walton, who made 22 off 27 balls.

Fittingly, Karachi captain Imad Wasim (10 not out) hit the winning boundary off speedster Shaheen Shah Afridi.

The PSL had started on February 20 and 30 and matches were played until March 15, when the tournament was stopped due to Covid-19 pandemic. The playoffs began on Saturday.

Babar Azam was named Player of the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020. Babar finished the tournament with 473 runs, including three player of the match awards, that also helped him to win the award for Best batsman of the HBL PSL 2020 award. He is the second Karachi Kings’ player to win the prestigious award after Ravi Bopara was declared Player of the HBL PSL 2016 after aggregating 329 runs and taking 11 wickets.

Shaheen Shah Afridi won the Best bowler of the HBL PSL 2020. He took 17 wickets, at a strike-rate of 16.4 and economy-rate of 7.11. Shaheen’s Lahore Qalandars’ team-mate Ben Dunk lifted the award for Best wicketkeeper of HBL PSL 2020 after accounting for nine batsmen behind the wickets.

Haider Ali was declared the Emerging Player of the HBL PSL 2020. The 20-year-old justified his category by first making an impression in the first half of the tournament that earned him a Pakistan call-up before finishing the competition with 239 runs at a strike-rate of 157.23.

Fakhar Zaman was named as the Best Fielder of the HBL PSL 2020 when his fitness and agility not only helped him to save critical runs and create run-out opportunities, but also finished with 10 catches.

“Overall, the credit for the overwhelming success of HBL PSL 2020 in Pakistan goes to all participants who galvanised and entertained the nation with some attractive, aggressive and competitive cricket. Through the HBL PSL as well as the National T20 Cup and the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the selectors as well as cricket fans and followers have been able to spot and identify a number of excellent cricketers, who I am sure we’ll see in international cricket at some stage,” said Ramiz Raja.

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