This is the first time these two sides are featuring in a PSL final
Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars facing off in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final is nothing less than a dream come true as the two rivals fight it out for the prestigious trophy at the National Stadium in what should be an epic contest.
After an eight-month Covid-19-enforced break following the end of the group-stage, the PSL playoffs began on Saturday with a mouth-watering Qualifier, between table-toppers Multan Sultans and Kings. Kings, helped by a remarkable bowling performance of Mohammad Amir in the Super Over, held their nerves to seal a place in the final.
Qalandars swept aside Peshawar Zalmi by five wickets in the Eliminator 1 courtesy an unbeaten 74 by Mohammad Hafeez after which David Wiese’s all-round performance helped the side, who had finished at the bottom of the table in each of the first four seasons, seal a spot in the final with a comprehensive 25-run win over Sultans in Eliminator 2.
This is the first time these two sides are featuring in a PSL final.
Both sides have the services of top T20 cricketers who have played an key role in their progression over the course of the tournament.
What did the captains say?
Speaking before the match, Karachi’s captain Imad Wasim was confident about winning the trophy while also mentioning the late Dean Jones.
“It is going to be a big game. I am sure it is not only me, but players in both teams are excited for this contest,” said Imad. “We played good cricket in the Qualifier but couldn’t finish it off how we wanted to but we are glad that we are in the finals. We are going to go out there express ourselves and I am hopeful we will win the trophy.”
“We are going to play the final for Dean Jones who was a father-like figure in our dressing room and a great influence on our team. We want to dedicate the trophy to him, which is an additional motivation for the entire squad,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lahore Qalandars captain Sohail Akhtar is also keen on putting up a good show after four tough seasons.
“It's a big achievement to reach the final. The belief that was there for five years has paid off. Our fans have stood by us for five years and now is the time to give them the best possible gift by winning the trophy,” said Akhtar. “We will try to build on the momentum we have had and the key for success in the final will be to stick to the basics in both batting and bowling departments.”
“Playing the final against Karachi in their own backyard is a massive occasion and I am sure it will have a huge following on TV and social media. We are really excited and looking forward to the game,” he added.
Head to Head
History favours the Kings in the Head to Head between the two franchises.
Kings and Qalandars have played on 10 occasions in the PSL with Karachi winning on six occasions.
Qalandars have registered victories in three matches plus have an additional victory under their belt, courtesy a thrilling Super Over win in a 2018 edition group-match played in Dubai.
This season, the two sides shared their two games with Qalandars winning at home (Gaddafi Stadium) by eight wickets and Kings recorded a comfortable 10-wicket win at the National Stadium in the return group-stage fixture.
The PSL will carry a total prize money of US$1million. The winners of the final will collect a cheque of U$500K along with a glittering and brand new trophy, while the runner-up will receive a cheque of US$200K.
In addition to the above, there will be number of other cash awards, including U$4,500 each to all the 34 player of the matches. Furthermore, US$80K will be equally distributed to player of the tournament, best batsman, best bowler and Spirit of Cricket.
The remaining amount will be distributed for other match-related awards like best catch, best run-out and most sixes.
Karachi Kings: Aamir Yamin, Alex Hales (England), Arshad Iqbal, Awais Zia, Babar Azam, Cameron Delport (South Africa), Chadwick Walton (West Indies), Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Wayne Parnell (South Africa), Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Sharjeel Khan, Sherfane Rutherford (West Indies), Umaid Asif, Umer Khan, Usama Mir and Waqas Maqsood
Lahore Qalandars: Abid Ali, Salman Irshad, Ben Dunk (Australia), Dane Vilas (South Africa), David Wiese (South Africa), Dilbar Hussain, Fakhar Zaman, Farzan Raja, Haris Rauf, Jaahid Ali, Maaz Khan, Mohammad Faizan, Mohammad Hafeez, Samit Patel (England), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohail Akhtar, Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh) and Usman Shinwari.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Cricket Pakistan.
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