A still of the Karachi Kings lifting the PSL 2020 Trophy.
Every journey has a start and endpoint. Just like that, today was the final day of Pakistan Super League 2020. The journey that began on 20th February and had to be put on hold due to the ongoing pandemic was now coming to an end. The group stage for the league concluded on 15th March. However, before the knockouts could begin, the league was put on hold. However, recently on 14th November, the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) decided to resume PSL. So, they began the showdown amongst the final 4 but with a twist. The Board decided to adapt to the Playoffs format, similar to the one played in IPL (Indian Premier League). Anyhow, today was the PSL finals as the league would get to see its new winner as Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars were going to play their first finale of PSL.
Match Summary: Karachi Kings vs Lahore Qalandars:
The match was definitely going to be interesting as both the teams had shown great compassion from the start of the season and they totally deserved their place in the finals. So, the final showdown began as Lahore Qalandars won the toss and opted to bat first. Sohail Akhtar wanted to set up a big target for the opponents and hence, decided to bowl first. However, his team did not get much of a great start as they were able to bag only 37 runs from the powerplay. In fact, in the 10th over, when both, Tamim (35 in 38) and Zaman (27 in 24) got out, the Qalandars had only been able to get 69 runs on the scoreboard. In the very next over, the Qalandars lost another wicket as the KRK skipper Imad Wasim dismissed Hafeez (2 in 4).
As a result, LHQ was 70-3 in 11.1 overs. So, Ben Dunk and Samit Patel came to give the Qalandars’ innings some stability but in the 14th over, Samit Patel (5 in 8) got out. Consequently, the LHQ skipper Sohail himself came to the crease. However, it felt like the LHQ batting lineup was just collapsing completely. In the 16th over, Dunk (11 in 14) got out. After that, in the 19th over, Akhtar (14 in 14) and Faizan (0 in 1) got dismissed. With that, Shaheen Afridi (12* in 4) and Weise (14* in 14) ended the innings for the Qalandars as they managed to get a few boundaries in the last over. Lahore Qalandars had scored just 134 in their 20-over innings which was not much for the Karachi Kings. However, LHQ could cause some trouble for their rivals with their excellent bowling order.
The second innings began and the Karachi Kings were looking for an easy chase. So, their standard opening pair of Sharjeel Khan and Babar Azam opened the innings for them. They were hitting some good shots until the 3rd over when Samit Patel dismissed Sharjeel (13 in 12). After that came Alex Hales who scored 11 runs in 11 balls before getting dismissed in the 7th over. As a result, Chadwick Walton came in at 4. He managed to pull off a good partnership with Azam who was playing brilliantly from the other end from the start of the KRK innings. However, in the 16th over, Walton (22 in 27) lost his wicket to Dilbar Hussain.
The match was easy for KRK now but LHQ could surely overturn the tables. KRK needed just 25 runs in 29 balls now. However, in the 18th over, Haris Rauf took 2 wickets to dismiss Iftikhar Ahmed (4 in 6) and Sherfane Rutherford (0 in 1). This gave the LHQ fans hope that they could still persuade for a win. However, the Kings skipper Imad Wasim came in at 7 to finish off the chase. He scored 10 runs in just 7 balls as he smashed two boundaries to guide his team to their first-ever PSL title. The Karachi Kings had defeated Lahore Qalandars by 5 wickets to win their long-craved PSL trophy.
Who won the Man of the Match award?
Babar Azam won the Man of the Match award for his unbeaten knock of 63* runs in just 49 balls. He played from the beginning of his team’s innings and helped them reach the total in just 18.4 overs. Not only the man of the match but he was also recognized as the player of the series. With this match, PSL 2020 came to an end. A long journey that faced many ups and downs had finally got its winner. Karachi Kings have now become the 4th team to win the PSL trophy. Anyhow, you need not worry about missing out on cricket as soon the league will be coming back with its 6th edition in 2021. Apart from that, India will soon be beginning their tour in Australia. On the other hand, Pakistan will also be traveling to New Zealand for their tour.