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Not watching the Pakistan Super League? These five performances might convince you to check it out

A Shahid Afridi special, Kevin Pietersen at his best and obviously a few batting implosions. It’s all happening in the PSL!

Not watching the Pakistan Super League? These five performances might convince you to check it out

It could not have started on a worse note. One day after the second edition of the Pakistan Super League began amidst much hope that it would play its part in bringing cricket back to Pakistan, one of Pakistani cricket’s familiar demons raised its head. Two Pakistani players, Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif, were sent back to Pakistan in disgrace and suspended as part of an investigation into attempts to corrupt the tournament.

It was a terrible blow and it threatened to derail the one tournament Pakistan was resting its faith on. Thankfully though, that did not happen. Cricket saved the day.

This year’s edition of the PSL has been enthralling. From legends taking you back on a nostalgic trip to last-ball finishes and out-of-the-blue batting collapses (it’s Pakistan, remember?), if you haven’t been watching the PSL, maybe these five moments from the tournament will make you reconsider.

The bat drop, courtesy Grant Elliot

IYou’ve heard of the mic-drop, now check out the bat drop from New Zealand’s Grant Elliot. The retired Kiwi, playing for the Lahore Qalandars, came in to bat against Islamabad United with his team in trouble at 69/5 chasing 146. More wickets fell around him as he gamely held on and the match entered the last over with Lahore needing six runs with just two wickets in hand.

A wicket fell off the very first ball but Elliot had crossed over. The next ball, he showed how to do the deed, hammering the ball over deep long-on to finish the match and then dropping his bat to make a statement.

KP explodes

Kevin Pietersen is a dormant volcano. He started off this PSL with the Quetta Gladiators in an unreasonably quiet manner: three runs in his first knock and then, two golden ducks. Then he watched as Jason Roy, then Mohammed Rizwan and Cameron Delport smashed everything around with the Lahore Qalandars getting 200.

Quetta couldn’t have got off to a worse start. After the first seven overs were done, they were only scoring at seven runs per over and had already lost two quick wickets. Then more wickets fell, the asking run rate soared to 14 and Quetta needed 99 runs in the last seven overs with six wickets in hand.

Step up, KP. In their last 17 balls, Quetta smashed 63 runs with Pietersen showing why, even at the age of 36, he’s such a hot commodity. He hammered Sunil Narine for two huge sixes and followed it up next over, by swinging Mohammad Irfan for 25 runs in five balls. By the time, the dust settled, Quetta had won the match with seven balls to spare; Pietersen walked off with 88 runs in 42 balls to his name.

Boom Boom takes over

If it’s the Pakistani Super League, there has to be a Shahid Afridi special, right? Peshawar got off to a breezy start chasing Quetta’s 128 but slipped from 50/1 to 52/6. Captain Afridi then played a captain’s knock, only hitting his first six off his ninth ball and playing the finisher’s role in some style. Having anchored the innings, Afridi entered the last over with seven runs to get and then blissfully reverted to old habits, hitting two boundaries to win the game for Peshawar.

Yasir Shah almost defends 59

In a tournament of slam-bang batting and big sixes, Yasir Shah stole the show in an astonishing contest between Peshawar Zalmi and the Lahore Qalandars. The Qalandars were bowled out for just 59 in 10.1 overs with medium-pacer Hasan Ali’s 3/23 topping the show in all-round performance by Zalmi.

When it was their turn to bat though, the tables turned. Narine dismissed Mohammad Hafeez, Sohail Tanvir got Dawid Malan and then Yasir Shah got the ball. Pandemonium broke out as his spell of 4/7 reduced Zalmi from 47/4 to 51/7. Unfortunately, Shah couldn’t do it alone as Chris Jordan and Wahab Riaz somehow managed to score nine priceless runs and take their team over the line.

 

Lahore lose 1/5

We’ve seen collapses — 7/11 and 6/21 in the latest India-Australia Test at Pune but nothing comes close to this.

Everything seemed normal. Peshawar Zalmi scored 166/6 in their 20 overs. Lahore came out to bat. Brendon McCullum and Cameron Delport hammered 38 runs in their first 17 balls. Then Delport got out, giving Hasan Ali a return catch.

Then, Fakhar Zaman gifted his wicket away. Then Mohammad Hafeez ran out Brendon McCullum. Then he got out leg-before-wicket himself. Three balls later, Grant Elliot got out himself as rain interrupted proceedings.

From 38/0, they had collapsed to 39/5. That collapse pretty much did it – Lahore lost by 17 runs.

 

 

 

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