The Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) third edition lived up to the expectations as day two of the T20 league turned the heat on in Dubai.
In the first match on Friday, Karachi Kings upstaged two-time finalists Quetta Gladiators by 19 runs, while in the second clash of the day debutantes Multan Sultans continued their winning run with a 43-run victory over Lahore Qalandars.
Both matches entertained the crowds with match-turning and result-defining moments. We take a look at the finest from among them.
Karachi Kings once again looked weak on the field after boasting strength on paper and were struggling to up the ante at 83-3 in the 13th over against Quetta Gladiators.
However, some magic from South African Colin Ingram, who scored 41 off just 21 balls, helped the Kings set an exact 150-run target for the Gladiators.
The bowlers then did the job for Karachi with pacers Tymal Mills and Mohammad Amir, and spinners Imad Wasim and Shahid Afridi restricting Quetta to 130.
Full-length dives, miraculous catches and surprising fielding antics have become a norm in modern-day cricket courtesy the adrenaline-inducing format of the T20s.
Same was the case with Afridi on Friday when he ran from long on as Umar Amin lifted one in the air. Quetta fans must’ve started celebrating a six when Afridi lunged with one hand towards the fast-travelling ball, cupped it with his right hand just a few inches away from the boundary, threw it in the air, ran into the legal area and re-grabbed it.
All during the five-second drama, Afridi looked well under his age of 37 and silenced the critics who used to believe that he is surviving in cricket on the basis of reputation and not pedigree.
Sanga’s second 50 on the trot
Kumar Sangakkara, a name synonymous with class in world cricket, proved again on Friday why he is a legend of the game.
The Sri Lankan veteran once again played an important role in the debutantes Multan Sultans victory over Lahore Qalandars.
The southpaw scored 63 off 44 courtesy three maximums and five boundaries to lead Sultans to a 179-run total, which Lahore were unable to chase.
Junaid Khan’s hat-trick
If Sangakkara’s innings was not enough, Junaid Khan also pitched in with a brilliant bowling performance where he picked a hat-trick in the 17th over to lend a killer blow to Lahore’s chase of a 180-run target.
Lahore’s Yasir Shah, Cameron Delport and Raza Hasan were the three batsmen who were caught at three different positions off the left-arm pacer’s bowling.
Junaid’s feat was the second time only that a hat-trick was taken by a bowler in the PSL.
Imran Tahir announces his arrival
The Pakistan-born South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir is always a treat to watch when he is on song, and Friday was his day.
His three wickets for Multan helped him bag the player of the match award, ashe ripped through two Lahore batsmen’s defence to bowl them over, while a third wicket came courtesy a catch at long-off.
Even if you don’t love the deliveries he bowled, you have to love his trademark style of celebration.
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