A look back into previous finals...

Published November 17, 2020
Saint Lucian captain of Peshawar Zalmi cricket team, Daren Sammy (L), and Pakistani captain of Quetta Gladiators cricket team, Sarfraz Ahmed (R) pose for photographs while holding the trophy of Pakistan Super League (PSL) Twenty20 (T20) at the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi on March 16, 2019. — AFP
Saint Lucian captain of Peshawar Zalmi cricket team, Daren Sammy (L), and Pakistani captain of Quetta Gladiators cricket team, Sarfraz Ahmed (R) pose for photographs while holding the trophy of Pakistan Super League (PSL) Twenty20 (T20) at the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi on March 16, 2019. — AFP

KARACHI: As Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars prepare to do battle for their maiden quest for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) at the National Stadium here on Tuesday night, it is appropriate to take a look back as to what had gone in the respective final of the previous four editions.

2016 — Feb 23: Dubai International Cricket Stadium

Islamabad United became the inaugural champions when the entire competition was staged in the United Arab Emirates due to security-related issues with five franchises in contention barring Multan Sultans who made their debut in 2018.

Islamabad, led by current Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, defeated Quetta Gladiators after chasing down 175 with eight deliveries to spare. West Indian Dwayne Smith starred with a man-of-the-match knock 73 (off 51 balls, seven fours and four sixes), while sharing a second-wicket partnership of 85 with Australian wicket-keeper Brad Haddin, who remained unbeaten on a 39-ball 61 (five sixes and two fours).

Earlier, West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell grabbed 3-36 and the giant Pakistan left-armer Mohammad Irfan (2-25) to share the bowling honours. For Quetta, Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara made 52 off 32 balls (seven fours and two sixes) and Ahmed Shehzad hit a 39-ball 64 (nine fours and one six).

2017 — March 5: Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore

Quetta suffered another heartbreak as they had to the settle for the runners-up spot for the second season on the trot. The reason of their despair was non-availability of their first-choice overseas stars — including former England batsman Kevin Pietersen — because the final was held in Pakistan after the preliminary phase was played in the UAE.

Peshawar Zalmi had no such problems and their full side in action. Not surprisingly Darren Sammy’s charges had the luckless Quetta on the run and won the final with consummate ease despite only managing a modest total of 148-6 after being put in.

Kamran Akmal was the top-scorer with a 32-40 while man-of-the-match Sammy thrashed an 11-ball 28 at the death. Ryad Emrit, who flew in all the way from the Caribbean as a replacement, claimed 3-30 but Quetta’s response to the chase ended swiftly as they shot out in 16.3 overs for just 90.

2018 — March 25: National Stadium, Karachi

The backend fixtures of third edition were held in Pakistan while Karachi hosted the final which saw Islamabad United become the only franchise, thus far, to clinch a second title.

Peshawar Zalmi made it to the again and replicated their team score of the previous edition after opting to bat first, while losing three more wickets this time. England duo of Chris Jordan (36) and Liam Jordan (33) were the chief run-getters along with Wahab Riaz (a 14-ball cameo of 28 not out.

Shadab Khan excelled with 3-25 before Islamabad openers, Luke Ronchi — who played for Australia and New Zealand — and Sahibzada Farhan bludgeoned 96 from only 53 balls to set a perfect platform.

And although Peshawar fought back after seeing off both Ronchi (52 off 26 balls, five sixes and four fours) and Farhan (44 off 33) with a cluster of wicket, the result was hardly in doubt. South African J.P. Duminy, leading the side in absence of the injured Misbah, couldn’t hide his emotion when he collected the trophy.

2019 — March 17: National Stadium, Karachi

Sarfaraz Ahmed was finally a relieved man as a captain because Quetta produced a clinical team effort to outclass Peshawar in the final of PSL IV. The lead roles were played by emerging fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain and Ahmed Shehzad but there were others who chipped in when really mattered.

Peshawar stuttered from the onset when Sarfaraz — not for the first time — chose to bowl first upon winning the toss. His decision paid off handsomely as Peshawar mustered 138-8 with just Umar Amin (8 off 33 balls) passing the 30-run mark.

Hasnain bowled with fire to capture 3-30 and Dwayne Bravo, the globetrotting West Indies all-rounder, took two wickets. Shehzad anchored the chase well while contributing 58 off 51 balls (six fours and one six) as he and Rile Rossouw (39 off 32) in the unbroken stand of 73.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2020

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