DUBAI: The second edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) came to an end with Peshawar Zalmi winning the title against Quetta Gladiators in the landmark final at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Sunday.
Like last year, Pakistan’s own cash-rich T20 league provided some great entertainment over the course of 25 days, where most of the games went down to the wire.
The Express Tribune brings you the list of all those great, entertaining moments together with the depressing ones.
Final in Lahore: First in the list of best moments is undoubtedly the final in Lahore, which took place even after uncertainties regarding the security situation in the city.
Zimbabwe visited Pakistan in 2015 and became first full-member team to visit the country after an attack on Sri Lankan cricket team bus back in 2009.
However, Sunday’s final was all the more important for the return of international cricket in the country as it involved big names like two times World T20 winning captain Darren Sammy, his compatriot Marlon Samuels and English pacer Chris Jordan.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), government, law enforcement agencies and PSL management should be given a lot of credit as they managed to put up a great show in the final.
Kamran Akmal’s century: Peshawar Zalmi wicketkeeper batsman Kamran Akmal played the innings of the tournament in the final playoff against Karachi United at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. The right-hander scored a stunning 104 off just 60 balls to single-handedly take his side into the final of the mega event.
Mohammad Nawaz’s magical over: Quetta Gladiators left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz probably bowled the most stunning over of the tournament, where he defended just seven runs and took his side directly into the final after beating Zalmi in the first playoff. His heroics became more crucial considering the fact that he defended just two runs off the last three balls.
Kieron Pollard’s stunner: Karachi Kings’ explosive all-rounder Kieron Pollard produced one of the most memorable moments of the tournament as he struck back-to-back sixes on the bowling of Aamer Yamin to knock Lahore Qalandars out of the tournament. With 10 needed off the last two balls, the West Indian giant showed his real class to bring Karachi back from the brink of going out of the tournament.
Grant Elliot’s bat drop: Former New Zealand all-rounder Grant Elliot created cricket’s version of mic drop when he hit dropped his bat to celebrate Lahore Qalandars’ victory. In the match against last year’s champions Islamabad United, Qalandars needed five with just a wicket in hand. Elliot held his nerves and struck a massive six towards midwicket off Mohammad Sami and followed it up with a bat drop celebration.
Spot-fixing scandal: On February 10, 2017, just after a day of the opening ceremony, PSL faced a massive blow as two Islamabad United players, Khalid Latif and Sharjeel Khan, were suspended and sent back home after alleged spot-fixing.
The fate of the duo still hangs in the balance, as they have been served a show-cause notice by the integrity committee of the PCB. The incident threatened to denigrate the image of the PSL but PCB’s efficient reaction did not let that happen.
Poor umpiring: One of the most disappointing aspects of the PSL second edition was the ineffective umpiring in the mega event. Numerous decisions faced strict scrutiny from the crowd and pundits who later demanded better standards in the next edition.