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Babar, Amir highlight Cricket Pakistan’s HBL PSL 5 team of the week

The playing XI has been formed after taking into account the individual performances of the players in the second week of the HBL PSL 5

PHOTO: PCB

The Habib Bank Limited (HBL) Pakistan Super League (PSL) 5 is in full swing, producing stellar contests that have viewers at the edge of their seats. The players from all sides have been putting in their best efforts to ensure a win for their respective teams.

We bring to you the team of the week after the conclusion of the second week of the tournament, which took place from February 26 to March 3.

Babar Azam — Karachi Kings

The number-one batsman in T20 cricket nearly lost his place in the team of the week for Quetta Gladiators Shane Watson (who blasted a quickfire 80 in a losing cause). However, his unbeaten match-winning knock of 70 against Peshawar Zalmi, which delivered a win for Karachi Kings put them on track in the tournament, helped him get into the line-up this week. Babar’s return to form could be a devastating development for all other teams in this tournament.

Shan Masood (Captain) — Multan Sultans

Multan Sultan’s opening batsman Shan Masood is currently leading the most successful team of the HBL PSL 5, with four wins from five matches so far in the tournament. His leadership skills have been supplemented well by his sublime form with the bat. His innings of 61 (42) and 46 (32) were crucial for the Sultans’ victory against Karachi Kings and Quetta Gladiators, respectively.

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Alex Hales — Karachi Kings

The Karachi Kings are relying heavily on their heavyweights in the top-order to get them off to a decent start. While opener Sharjeel Khan has struggled to make the most of his starts, batsman Alex Hales has returned to the power-hitting ways that have made him one of the hottest talents across the globe. His quickfire scores of 52 (30) and 49 (27) against Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi respectively provided the Kings with great starts while hinting at an explosive season ahead.

Rilee Rossouw — Multan Sultans

Multan Sultans’ batsman Rilee Rossouw made an unbeaten 49 off 42 balls to ease his side to victory against Peshawar Zalmi at the start of the week but the best was yet to come. The hard-hitting batsman unleashed his true potential smashing a vicious unbeaten 44-ball century, fastest in the history of HBL PSL, against a stunned Quetta Gladiators side. The result concluded in an easy victory for the Sultans.

Ben Cutting — Quetta Gladiators

The Quetta Gladiators’ all-rounder had a decent week with the ball, picking up four wickets in three matches. His batting however has been brutal. His monstrous 42 off just 17 balls helped the Quetta Gladiators side clinch a thriller against Islamabad United at the start of the week. The hard-hitting batsman then made a great impression with a quickfire 53 off 27 balls, albeit in a losing effort, against Lahore Qalandars.

Ben Dunk (Wicketkeeper) — Lahore Qalandars

Ben Dunk played one match this week and made it count. His heroics with the bat delivered Lahore Qalandars with their maiden HBL PSL 5 victory from the jaws of defeat against Quetta Gladiators. The Qalandars were struggling when Dunk joined Samit Patel and blasted one of the best innings of the PSL so far, smashing 93 runs off just 43 balls.

Samit Patel — Lahore Qalandars

If Ben Dunk was the driver of the bus that destroyed Quetta Gladiators this week, Samit Patel was the skillful navigator that guided the innings towards its eventual outcome. The all-rounder showed glimpses of his batting prowess with a measured and unbeaten 34 against Peshawar Zalmi earlier in the week followed by a masterclass of batting under pressure against the Gladiators, making 71 runs of 40 deliveries, while picking up two wickets with the ball to usher his side to an improbable triumph.

Lewis Gregory — Peshawar Zalmi

All-rounder Lewis Gregory starred in Peshawar Zalmi’s match against Lahore Qalandars, picking up four wickets for 25 runs. His spell broke the back of the Qalandars batting order which was looking to chase down a mammoth 132-run target in a rain-hit 12 over-a-side encounter.

Mohammad Amir — Karachi Kings

After being taken out of the national T20 side, Karachi Kings’ coach Dean Jones claimed that fast-bowler Mohammad Amir would prove his worth in the HBL PSL 5. The pacer started the tournament a little off color before turning in a brilliant performance against Peshawar Zalmi this week. His four for 25 provided the Kings with the kind of attacking bowling start that they have been lacking in this season. His return to form could boost the Kings franchise still searching for a maiden PSL title victory.

Dilbar Hussain — Lahore Qalandars

Fast-bowler Dilbar Hussain has been a revelation for the Lahore Qalandars side picking up six wickets in just two games this week. He picked up four wickets for 24 runs in a losing cause against Peshawar Zalmi in the first game this week. The pacer then broke the back of the Quetta Gladiators chase with two wickets for just 11 runs to ensure victory for his side.

Sohail Tanvir —Multan Sultans

The veteran fast-bowler Sohail Tanvir does not get enough credit for his economical spells and reliable bowling. The pacer delivered an amazing spell against Peshawar Zalmi picking up four wickets while giving away a miserly 13 runs. He followed it up with another good performance picking up two wickets for 20 runs against Karachi Kings. His economical bowling has been a major boost for the Multan Sultans franchise this season.