The eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) came to a close with a victory for Lahore Qalandars, who defeated Multan Sultans in the final in dramatic fashion by just one run to clinch the title.
Lahore Qalandars have also become the first team in the history of PSL to defend their title.
Interestingly, last year also the final was played between the same two teams in which Lahore Qalandars emerged victorious and it can also be called an interesting coincidence that this PSL ended with the same two teams that won this PSL. The opening match of the League was played and the most important thing is that the result of both the opening and final matches was the same in favor of Lahore Qalandars i.e. victory by one run both times.
The final turned out to be a match that left the pulses and breaths of the audience in disarray. The traditional beauty of T20 cricket emerged in the last over of the match. Whoever watched this match in the stadium and on TV will never forget this final.
What is the quality of Sultans and Qalandars?
The Multan Sultans team has taken off and been successful ever since it moved out of the Shaun Group and into the hands of the Tareen family, thanks to the joint efforts of its think-tank coaching staff and players. included.
On one hand, there is a person like Haider Azhar who understands the nuances of team management, on the other hand, a very experienced coach like Andy Flower is making a plan for the players to set the strategy.
Along with him, the players also have the guidance of Abdul Rahman, who keeps his hand on the pulse of domestic cricket. As much as Abdul Rehman has benefited Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cricket with his vast experience in domestic cricket, it is the result of his appointment as the head coach of the Pakistan team for the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan.
The key role played by captain Mohammad Rizwan in Multan Sultans’ recent success cannot be overlooked, as he has shown his leadership skills as well as his batting skills.
This is the same Mohammad Rizwan who was unable to get a place in Karachi Kings and in 2020 he got a chance in only two matches, but as soon as he came to Multan Sultans, he has become a volcano that burns the rival bowling and this is the third consecutive P SL, in which he has scored more than five hundred runs.
Apart from Mohammad Rizwan, Rayle Russo’s brilliant batting was prominent in the performance of Multan Sultans. In the final, if he had stayed at the crease for a little longer, he would have done the whole thing to change the map of the match.
Fast bowlers Abbas Afridi and Ehsanullah were noteworthy in the bowling of Multan Sultans.
In the field of spin bowling, Osama Mir helped the team by taking wickets where needed. His bowling in the final brought the frustration of Lahore Qalandars to the extreme at one point.
Like Multan Sultans, the owners of Lahore Qalandars have also provided such a friendly environment to their team, in which they are openly demonstrating their skills.
Lahore Qalandars Chief Operating Officer Samin Rana says that when he took over the reins of Lahore Qalandars and tried to work in a corporate style, people objected to him that he should keep distance from the players. Don’t be too friendly with them, but since they have been trained to respect those who work with you so that you will be respected, they have not kept any distance in Qalandar’s team. .
Lahore Qalandars head coach Aqib Javed says that his team’s toughest time was till the fourth season of Pakistan Super League. Qalandar’s team is truly made of PSL 5. Shaheen Afridi was brought in as Sohail Akhtar’s deputy with the aim of preparing him as the captain for the coming seasons and under his captaincy last year, Qalandars were victorious.
Lahore Qalandars have a world class bowling attack in the form of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Zaman Khan and Rashid Khan.
Zaman Khan has shown an impressive performance in the presence of Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf, due to which he has managed to make a place in the Pakistan T20 team.
The manner in which they bowled in the final, keeping their nerves in check, is under-appreciated, although Haris Rauf’s twenty-two runs in the nineteenth over almost took the match out of Qalandar’s hands.
In batting, Fakhar Zaman was remarkable in overall performance. He also became the first batsman in the history of PSL to complete a century of sixes overall.
Among the other batsmen, Mirza Baig scored an important half-century in the eliminator against Peshawar Zalmi to take his team to the final. He was able to play important innings in the final as well.
After three good innings of 75, 45 and 48, Abdullah Shafiq could not do anything in five innings, but his 65 runs in the final improved the position of Lahore Qalandars.
It is also important to mention Shaheen Shah Afridi who emerged as an aggressive batsman in this league. First he scored a half-century against Zalmi and then in the final he hit five sixes and two fours to bring his struggling team’s score to 200. In bowling though he proved costly in the beginning but then his four wickets helped Lahore Qalandars. Bring on your track.
Shaheen Shah Afridi, who has just come to terms with the experience of captaincy in franchise cricket, has a long career ahead of him, so he has to control his emotions on the field.
Lahore Qalandars’ Shaheen Afridi bats against Multan Sultans in Lahore on March 18, 2023 (AFP)
What went wrong with United and Zalmi?
The disappointing thing for Islamabad United was that Paul Sterling, famous for his aggressive batting, could play only two matches, while Alex Hales could score only one half-century in six matches and that innings also did not work for the team.
Azam Khan and Colin Munro kept the batting in check with a flurry of fours and sixes, but the way Islamabad United lost the match from a winning position against Peshawar Zalmi in the eliminator was disappointing.
Islamabad United’s bowling lacked firepower. Mohammad Wasim Jr. is fortunate that despite taking eight wickets at ten runs per over throughout the tournament, he managed to make it into the squad for the T20 series against Afghanistan.
Peshawar Zalmi’s batting was greatly strengthened by the arrival of Babar Azam. Zalmi’s batting revolved around him scoring a total of 522 runs in that league, including one century and five fifties.
He also responded to his critics by scoring two quick half-centuries, but his dismissals on leg-spin giggly bowling continued, Rashid Khan being the most prominent among them.
Saeem Ayub and Mohammad Haris’ skills were also not less than anyone, but the early dismissal of Cadmore and Saeem Ayub in the important match against Lahore Qalandars proved to be harmful for the team.
Bowling has been Peshawar Zalmi’s weak spot. Although Aamir Jamal and Salman Irshad bowled match-winning against Islamabad United, Zalmi’s bowling as a whole lacked that sparkle. A spinner like Mujeebur Rahman could take only four wickets in seven matches.
Peshawar Zalmi’s batting has been boosted by the arrival of Babar Azam, but bowling has been the team’s weak point (AFP).
Shadows of Despair on Gladiators and Kings
If you look at the performance of Karachi Kings and Quetta Gladiators in this PSL, it should not be surprising because it is a continuation of the same disappointing performance that these two teams have been showing for the last one or two tournaments.
Quetta Gladiators finished last this time. Last year they came fifth and the season before that they finished last among six teams.
The team of Karachi lost nine out of ten matches last year and came to the last place, this time they finished at the fifth place. Although they lost a few matches by a very small margin, but in the whole team, only the captain Imad Wasim was able to win the match with his excellent performance. came out prominently.
Other batsmen lacked consistency. It turned out to be a very disappointing PSL for Sharjeel Khan. Ben Cutting was completely unable to perform as an all-rounder. In bowling, the quality of leg spinner Imran Tahir has not been seen in this tournament. It looks like he has had the best days of his career.
This section contains related reference points (Related Nodes field).
The time has come for Karachi Kings and Quetta Gladiators to change their thinking.
I personally sympathize with Salman Iqbal and Nadeem Umar who are spending huge money on their teams but now they have to make some tough decisions about their think tanks and team management.
Quetta Gladiators cannot be blamed simply by saying that the absence of Sri Lankan spinner Hasaranga affected their performance. What would happen if he got unfit while playing Hasaranga and was unable to play?
Quetta coach Moin Khan has openly admitted that his team let several players go to other teams. In this regard, they take the names of Azam Khan, Saeem Ayub and Rayle Russo who were acquired by Quetta Gladiators and other teams acquired them and improved their performance.
Karachi Kings appeared to be confused in the case of Babar Azam from the beginning.
The comments in the media about Babar Azam by fast bowler Mohammad Amir, the protagonist of spot-fixing, were extremely frivolous and unnecessary. The management of Karachi Kings did not try to stop him from doing so.
Obviously, the media got an opportunity to ask questions about this in the press conferences of Karachi Kings. Although captain Imad Wasim handled all these questions very sensibly, Karachi Kings sorely missed a strong media manager, who would keep the situation focused solely on the team’s performance.
On the issue of Babar Azam’s departure from Karachi Kings, the way questions were being asked in the press conferences, it seemed that it was not just the work of the media, but the strings were being pulled from somewhere else.
Everyone wants to see fours and sixes in T20 cricket. The pitch of Rawalpindi in this PSL made the batsmen happy. 17 times in this PSL teams crossed the score of 200, out of which 12 happened in Rawalpindi.
PSL is famous for being a quality bowling league. This time too, Abbas Afridi, Ehsanullah, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, as well as Rashid Khan and Osama Mir were prominent in the spinners, but on the other hand, many extraordinary innings were seen in the batting, including Martin Guptill, Jason Roy, Fakhar Zaman. , Raleigh Russo and Usman Khan’s brilliant batting were noteworthy.
Jason Roy of Quetta Gladiators played the biggest individual innings in the history of PSL and scored 145 not out against Zalmi.
Usman Khan of Multan Sultans also entered his name in the record books and scored the fastest century in the history of PSL. Against Quetta, he completed his century in just 36 balls. Just a day before that, Rayle Russo of his team broke his own record of 43 balls by scoring a century in 41 balls against Zalmi, but Usman Khan’s intentions turned out to be different.
Usman Khan of Multan Sultans scored the fastest PSL century against Quetta Gladiators on March 11, 2023 (Photo: Multan Sultans)
It cannot be that the PSL does not provide an opportunity to expose young talent. Saeem Ayub gave a brilliant performance for Peshawar Zalmi and scored five half-centuries. He got the reward of this hard work by joining the Pakistan T20 team for the first time.
Addition of new teams
This eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League was significant as there were changes in the Pakistan Cricket Board just a few months ago. Rameez Raja went and Najam Sethi came but since the setup of PSL is now stable and Najam Sethi himself also has the experience of organizing this event so this league became possible successfully but we should not forget that Zaman Park in Lahore Due to the unusual situation, some circles were showing concern, but due to the Lahore High Court stopping the police operation on Zaman Park, the splendor of Gaddafi Stadium remained intact.
Earlier, due to differences between the caretaker government of Punjab and the Pakistan Cricket Board on security expenses, there was uncertainty about the holding of PSL matches in Lahore and Pindi, but the parties resolved the issue. Succeeded in doing it.
The issue of increasing the number of teams in the Pakistan Super League from six to eight has been under discussion for a long time. Cannot be decided. Now it remains to be seen how and when this matter is resolved and fans will see two more teams playing in the arena.