Just like previous years, there has been no shortage of drama and exciting cricket in the fourth edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL). The action now moves to Pakistan where National Stadium Karachi will host the remainder of the matches. Here is a look at few takeaways from the UAE leg of the tournament.
Exciting Young Prospects
Over the years, PSL has proved to be a breeding ground for upcoming local players. This year has been no different. Haris Rauf, picked during the Qalandars’s talent hunt program has been on song this season. He has picked up 11 wickets with 4/25 his best figures against Karachi. Eighteen-year-old, Muhammad Musa and Muhammad Hasnain have also shone brightly for their respective franchises and have troubled the batsmen with their pace.
Umar Khan, the left-arm spinner from Karachi has impressed one and all with his composure under tough situations. Thus far, he has picked 10 scalps in 8 matches. His knack of picking up big wickets along with economical spells have been quite handy for Karachi Kings in the tournament.
Quetta Gladiators are the team to beat
One of the most consistent teams in the history of Pakistan Super League, Quetta Gladiators are in red hot form. They are sitting at the top of the table with 14 points from 9 games. Watson has been in blistering form from the start of the season and is the highest run scorer so far. Dwayne Bravo has joined the team and has further strengthened the squad.
Ahmad Shehzad has regained form at the right time. Rilee Rossouw and Umar Akmal have also been in good touch too, providing solidity in the middle order. Both players are striking at the rate of 136.
Sohail Tanvir is leading Quetta’s bowling attack with 14 wickets, second highest in this edition. He will have able support of young Muhammad Hasnain in the pace attack. The spin resources are also looking good with Muhammad Nawaz and Fawad Ahmad. With all the foreign players coming to Pakistan for the final phase of the tournament this time around, Sarfaraz Ahmed has his eyes set on the silverware which has eluded him in the past.
Win the toss and chase
Win the toss and bowl first has been the mantra in this edition of PSL. In 26 matches played so far, the team batting second has won 21 of them. 25 times captains have opted to bowl first after winning the toss. It will be interesting to see whether teams will continue with this trend when the tournament reaches the knockout stage in Karachi.
Fast Bowling Dominance
The wickets in U.A.E are generally considered to be conducive for spinners but fast bowlers have dominated the show, just like last year. Hasan Ali has found his missing zip and is leading the charge with 18 wickets. Sohail Tanvir is second on the list with 14 wickets. Faheem Ashraf, the leading wicket-taker from last year is currently third. Haris Rauf and Wahab Riaz complete the list.
This edition so far has been characterized by teams collapsing with the bat after getting off to excellent starts. Batting sides have lost wickets in a cluster. The inaugural match saw Lahore Qalandars reduced to 171-8 in 20 overs from 128-1 in 13 overs against United. The last match in Abu Dhabi saw Islamabad slumping from 4-109 to 9-134 in four overs against Gladiators. Prior to that, Quetta lost 6-28 in last three overs while they were batting.