After a month of enthralling cricket, the fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League came to an end in Karachi with Quetta Gladiators finally getting their hands on the trophy which has eluded them in the past. Time to look at the stars who shone brightly in the tournament.
Shane Watson (Quetta Gladiators)
No surprises here, Shane Watson is an automatic selection in the team. The veteran Australian ended the tournament as the highest run scorer and was deservedly adjudged as the man of the tournament. Watson amassed 430 runs in 12 innings with a healthy strike rate of 143.81 with four half-centuries. He hit 22 sixes in the tournament and was the catalyst behind Quetta’s dominant run in this edition of Pakistan Super League.
Kamran Akmal (Peshawar Zalmi)
The Zalmi opener had a quiet start but regained form in the latter stages. He finished second behind Watson with 357 runs in 13 games striking at 137.83. He scored three fifties with his most crucial innings coming against Islamabad in the second eliminator. Kamran scored 74 off just 43 and laid the foundation for a big total and won the man of the match award.
Cameron Delport (Islamabad United)
Just like Kamran, Delport had a dismal start with two ducks in his first five games. The South African player accumulated 355 runs in 12 games with a strike rate of 133.96. His most destructive innings of 117* came against Lahore where he lit up the National Stadium Karachi with clean hitting. Delport hit 35 boundaries and 13 sixes during the course of the tournament.
Colin Ingram (Karachi Kings)
One of the crispest hitters going around in the world, Colin Ingram scored 344 runs in 11 innings with a strike rate of 164.59. His best knock of 127* came against Quetta where he took them apart while chasing 187 in Sharjah. His innings included 12 fours and 8 sixes. Ingram’s contributions were pivotal in the middle order for the Kings.
Sarfaraz Ahmed (Quetta Gladiators) (C)
With the likes of Watson, Shehzad, Rossouw and Umar Akmal in good form Sarfraz had little to do with the bat this time around. He scored crucial 52* against Lahore Qalandars and won the game for Quetta while chasing 147 in Dubai. As a captain, he handled his bowlers very well under crunch situations. His relentless attitude and leadership skills on the field were of vital importance in Gladiator’s lifting the title in the fourth season.
Kieron Pollard (Peshawar Zalmi)
The big all-rounder from the West Indies had a great tournament, both with bat and ball in hand. Pollard amassed 284 runs down the order striking at 173 with two half-centuries to his name. With the ball in hand, he picked up 5 wickets with an economy of 7.88. His change of pace was deceptive and created problems for the batsmen. In addition to that, Pollard took 10 catches in the tournament and was named as the best fielder in PSL 4.
Faheem Ashraf (Islamabad United)
Just like previous year where he was the leading wicket-taker in the tournament, Faheem Ashraf was impressive yet again. He finished the tournament with 21 wickets behind Hasan Ali. Despite not bowling at express pace, he was at the batsmen with his short balls and took wickets at crucial junctures of the games. His best bowling performance in PSL 4 came against Lahore where he took 6/19 on a placid track in Karachi where an aggregate of 427 runs was scored in the day.
Hasan Ali (Peshawar Zalmi)
The speedster has been the best bowler throughout this edition of Pakistan Super League. Hasan Ali ended the tournament as the leading wicket-taker with 25 scalps with an economy rate of 6.77. The Pakistani star bowled with pace and hostility and has been equally effective against both left-handers and right-handers. His best performance came against Karachi Kings where he took 4/15 in his 4 overs.
Wahab Riaz (Peshawar Zalmi)
While Hasan Ali has been bowling well with the new ball, his teammate has been getting things done in the middle and death stages of the innings. Wahab ended the tournament on the third spot on the list of highest wicket-takers. He picked up 17 wickets with a terrific economy rate of 6.78. With bowling consistently above 145 km/h, Wahab created problems for the opposing batsmen with his short ball and Yorkers.
Muhammad Hasnain (Quetta Gladiators)
The breakout star of the tournament, the 18-year-old Muhammad Hasnain impressed one and all with his pace and bowling intelligence. He picked up 12 wickets in 7 games. His performances in PSL have given him a place in the squad for the upcoming series against Australia. His best figures came in the final where he took 3/30 and was also named as man of the match. He picked up some important wickets of Imam, Umar Amin, and Pollard and kept a lid on the scoring rate.
Umer Khan (Karachi Kings)
The 19-year-old was the only spinner to make it in the top five wicket-takers in this edition of PSL. Umer Khan took 15 wickets in 11 games with an economy of 7.11. Not only was he economical but his knack of picking up big wickets was crucial for the Kings in the middle overs. His ability to spin the ball and control over it at such a young age suggests that he has a bright future ahead.
My Team of the Tournament:
1. Shane Watson
2. Kamran Akmal (WK)
3. Cameron Delport
4. Colin Ingram
5. Sarfraz Ahmad (C)
6. Kieron Pollard
7. Faheem Ashraf
8. Wahab Riaz
9. Hassan Ali
10. Mohammad Hasnain
11. Umer Khan