7 WOWs of the PSL How many Cricketing leagues in the world can claim to have filled a stadium in an oversees venue? Not many. Right? This is what exactly Pakistan Super League did in UAE. 3 weeks of highest quality of cricket brought Pakistan into a stand still. Social media remained abuzz with cricketing jibes which rejuvenated the long forgotten Cricketing rivalries between the cities of Pakistan. Team songs and anthems were master pieces which in no time were on the minds of everyone in Pakistan. Though the owner of Lahore Qalandar became massively popular among the masses for his puerile demeanor, the trance that the Dhamal of the Lahore Qalandars created on the viewers didn’t last long as they became the first team to be eliminated from the competition. Karachi Kings seemed more like a king without a realm to rule on because no team was willing to budge in front of them. Peshawar Zalmi was the heart throb of the event with its star power and traditional anthems.
Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators locked horns in the first ever final of PSL and Islamabad emerged triumphant in the battle. You can’t call yourself a true cricket fan if PSL didn’t make you say WOW at least one time during the tournament. We couldn’t stop saying WOW. So let us see what the seven WOWs of this tournament were.
#1. Most Exciting Match of the PSL
Sensational, ever changing, adrenaline pumping and nail biter was the first playoff match between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi which without a shred of doubt seemed to be the two best teams of the tournament. Peshawar Zalmi was the most bowling heavy team of the tournament with the likes of Shaun Tait and Wahab Riaz opening its bowling attack. Both Wahab and Tait had been landing deadly punches on all the oppositions they had come to face in the lead up to this match. Quetta Gladiators had the services of majestic Kevin Pieterson and poetic Kumar Sangakara.
Batting first, Quetta didn’t muster a big total and it seemed that chasing a total which was just to the north of 130 would be a walk in the park for the Zalmis. But the boys from Quetta being mentored by the great Sir Vivian Richard himself, had plans of their own. Quetta tightened their grip around the match after blowing the top order of the Zalmis cheaply but this is where a twist in the tale came. Late rear guard by Darren Sami and Wahab Riaz meant that Zalmi needed only 8 of last 6 balls.Aizaz Cheema bowled this action packed over taking two wickets in it after being drilled for a 4 on the very first delivery. Quetta held onto their nerves and won the match by 1 run.
#2. Best individual Innings of the PSL
England’s Ravi Bopara surprised everyone with the hand he played in making Karachi Kings a force to be reckoned with in this PSL. In the match against Peshawar Zalmi, Karachi Kings were five wickets down for just 48 runs and that too while chasing a mammoth target of 183 runs. For Kings the game seemed nothing less than being over but this is where Bopara came in. Bopara scored 67 runs of just 33 balls taking the powerful Zalmis attack to the cleaners. With 13 needed of the last over, Ravi Bopara smoked Darren Sami for a massive six over covers and brought Karachi Kings in touching distance to the victory. His luck ran out when he gave a catch down the throat of the fielder at long on. Zalmis eventually went on to win the match by 3 runs but Ravi Bopara’s innings can surely be regarded as one of the best innings from PSL considering the
#3. Best Batsman of the PSL
This tournament provided us the moments when we could finally say that Umar Akmal came of age. The little master blasted each and every opposition that he came against off. It is a pity that his teammates didn’t provide him much support otherwise things could been very different for the Lahore Qalandars. Umar Akmal was instrumental in Lahore Qalandar’s victory over the then undefeated Quetta Gladiators. He scored a quick 93 smoking huge sixes of both fast and spin bowlers. Akmal scored 4 fifties in the seven matches that he played in the tournament.
#4. Best Bowler of the PSL
West Indian All Rounder, Andre Russel ended up being the leading wicket taker of the PSL but it isn’t Russel who got us jump from our seats rather it was the Pakistani left arm fast bowler, Wahab Riaz who had on our toes with his fiery spells throughout the tournament. In a match against Islamabad United, Wahab got an opportunity to settle his record with Shane Watson and that is exactly what he did by getting Watson caught at point. Lagging behind Russel by just a wicket or two, Wahab took 15 wickets in the tournament. His wicket of Ahmed Shehzad will remain fresh in the minds of cricket lovers for a very long time.
#5. Best All-Rounder of the PSL
Whenever he would come to bowl or bat, there used to be an air of confidence about him. Right form the very first match of PSL, this young left arm spinner and left handed batsman from Quetta had managed to get eyeballs stationed at him. Muhammad Nawaz through his performance during the PSL inspired the selectors so much that they ended up selecting him in the team for Asia Cup and the World T20 which will be played next month in India. Nawaz is a confident player who likes going after big bowlers. His six over mid-wicket off Wahab’s bowling and the boundary that he sneaked in Tait’s over in the playoff were the highlight of his batting prowess. With ball he outfoxed the seasoned campaigners like Brad Hodge and claimed 13
#6. Best Bowling Spell of the PSL
Muhammad Amir bamboozled Indian batting line up in the first game against India after coming back from the ban and it seemed as if nothing had changed in him. Amir displayed similar skill in the PSL where he became the first bowler to take a hat trick in PSL. In a match against Lahore Qalandar, Amir while playing for Karachi Kings took three important wicket on three consecutive balls to help Karachi win an important match in the tournament.
#7. Best Song of the PSL
PSL plucked the right chords with the hearts of the fans and one team which played an important role in that was Lahore Qalandars. With a team song sung in Punjabi and based on the bhangra tones of Punjab, Lahore Qalandars gave fans something to cheer about. This song was the best amongst all the songs that were launched by different teams. Even the players from Caribbean couldn’t stop themselves from dancing on its tone.