Established in 2015, Pakistan Super League will now enter into its fourth edition. The fourth season of the league is slated to start from 14th February 2019 and the fans are already feeling ecstatic as with every edition the league seems to get bigger and better. This year too 6 teams shall be seen in action i.e. Lahore Qalandars, Karachi Kings, Quetta Gladiators, Islamabad United, Peshawar Zalmi & Multan Sultans. The tournament will once again be bringing in top level cricketers and a clutch of great international names to Pakistan but what is even more exciting is the fact that the 2019 edition will witness more matches in Pakistan, this shall be a true treat for all the cricket enthusiasts in our country.
While there are a couple of months left before the cricket frenzy hits the country, let’s look back at some of the monumental moments of the last edition. Who scored the most number of runs, who scored the lowest, who took the most wickets and which team emerged as the best? Get ready for a comprehensive dissection.
PSL 3 witnessed a historic final between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi , with the former beating defending champions Zalmis by three wickets. It was the second time, Islamabad won the tournament, they lifted the trophy in the inaugural edition too and became the only team winning the league twice. The highlight of the match was United’s opener Luke Ronchi’s rapid 52 of 26 deliveries, making Zalmi’s fighting total off 148 runs look relatively easy. Some late hitting by Asif Ali helped United make it over the finishing line for the second time in the three-year history of the tournament. The match marked the first time a PSL final was played in Karachi, as thousands of fans flocked to the sold-out National Stadium under tight security. It was also the city’s biggest cricket match in nine years.
Highest Run Scorer
Luke Ronchi emerged as one of the most successful batsman of the season having scored 435 runs in 11 matches with an average of 43.50 runs per match; the most aggressive bowlers feared facing Luke Ronchi who more than often threw the ball out of the park. Kamran Akmal also had a successful season as he was the second highest scorer of the tournament having made 425 runs in just 13 matches, his highest score was 107 not out. Kamran’s Cousin Babar Azam followed his footsteps and became the third highest scoring batsman of PSL3 with total of 402 runs in 12 matches. Babar’s highest score was 66.
The Akmal Factor
Peshawar Zalmi’s Kamran Akmal seemed to be the man of the season in PSL 3 as he did not just make one record rather a multitude of records. Akmal held a unique record of hitting the most number of sixes in the tournament; he hit a total of 28 runs. Contrary to his record of hitting the most number of sixes, Akmal also scored the most number of ducks; he was bowled out on a duck on 3 occasions. Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Irfan scored 2, 2 ducks respectively.
Kamran Akmal also made the second highest run partnership along with partner Andre Fletcher of 107 runs against Karachi Kings. The highest partnership was made by Karachi King Boys Denly & Babar Azam, the duo made 118 runs together against Multan Sultans.
The Power Hitters
T20 can’t be complete without some prodigious smashes, PSL 3 also had its fair share of power hitters who made sure that every ball went out of the park. Islamabad United’s Asif Ali had the best strike rate of 433.3 whereas English player Colin Ingram had a strike rate of 362.5. Our very own boom boom aka Shahid Afridi stood third, his strike rate was 325.10.
Highest Wicket Takers
It was not just the batsmen who struck the right chord; the bowlers also displayed commendable grit and power. The Pakistanis bowlers truly sparkled and bowled some outstanding overs. Islamabad United’s star player Faheem Ashraf took the highest number of wickets i.e. 18 in 12 matches, followed by Wahab Riaz who also took 18 wickets in 13 matches whereas Usman Khan of Karachi Kings took 16 wickets in 10 matches. Islamabad United’s Rumman Raees, Multan Sultan’s Mohammad Irfan and Peshawar Zalmi’s Umaid Asif also showed great bowling prowess.
Rumman Raees had the best economy rate of the tournament i.e. 5.18, followed by Quetta Gladiator’s Mohammad Nawaz with economy rate of 5.44 and Lahore Qalandar’s Narine with economy of 6.00.
What a catch!
In the fielding department the foreigners clearly dominated the last season, JP Duminy of Islamabad United took 8 catches in 10 matches, Karachi King’s Denly also took 8 catches but in 12 matches. The infamously famous Ahmed Shehzad took 7 catches.
Behind the stumps, legendary batsman and wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakara stumped 10 batsmen while our captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, who also led Quetta Gladiators in the league, dismissed 9 batsmen.
While some games of PSL3 were a true roller coaster others were rather one sided. Some of the teams won matches with a huge margin, these include Quetta Gladiator’s victory against Karachi Kings, the gladiators set a target of 181 runs and swiftly won this match by 67 runs. This was the largest margin victory of PSL 3. Despite Karachi King’s dismal performance in the intial seasons, the last one was not so bad for them. The team made put up the highest score of the tournament against Multan Sultans, setting a target of 188 runs. The kings conveniently won the match by 63 runs.
It is much evident that the last season of PSL was about celebrating the spirit of cricket; this season will perhaps be a bigger challenge for PCB as the two major forces behind the league i.e. Najam Sethi and Naila Bhatti are no more part of the league. Can the new team execute the premier league of Pakistan successfully yet again? This is a question yet to be answered.
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