If you have been following the Pakistan Super League (PSL) since its first edition then you might be a little bit more excited about this year’s ending of the tournament as an exciting, energetic and brand new team line-up has reached the knock-out stage.
A mixed public reaction made rounds on social media after two of the successful franchises Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators made their way out of the PSL for the first time in PSL’s history at the round stage. A bit surprising for the fans of both the franchises, maybe they didn’t even think of watching such an abysmal performance. It is hard to digest a defeat after plenty of high-ups but now its a fact that the two former PSL champions are nowhere ahead.
A long wait to see a new champion may come to an end if Karachi Kings (KK) or Lahore Qalandars (LQ) or Multan Sultans (MS) win the title and if Peshawar Zalmi (PZ) wins it again so nothing new will happen but they will add one more triumph to their feather. It looks like Zalmi will be under pressure as they lost all of their main foreign players including Liam Dawson, Liam Livingstone, Carlos Brathwaite, Tom Banton and Lewis Gregory who all have left Pakistan due to coronavirus fear but you never know what is written in their luck. They have a mix of strong local players which might don’t let the franchise think of the players who have gone. Darren Sammy, their head coach-cum-player and new inclusion Sikandar Raza from Zimbabwe are still there to support and lift their team.
Whereas, the chances of KK and LQ to win the trophy are on high as they both still contain their main foreign players. Only Alex Hales and Mitchell McClenaghan have departed from Kings while Qalandars have lost Chris Lynn, David Wiese. The on-field arch-rivals are highly pumped up to set up a stage for yet another highly anticipated contest of this year’s PSL when they take on each in the second semi-final on Tuesday.
Kings might not feel the absence of Hales as their openers Sharjeel Khan and Babar Azam are in form having scored 151* runs together which recorded the highest opening partnership of this season. You then can’t overlook Cameron Delport who scored 62 runs against Quetta Gladiators in last round match to gain rhythm before the all-important semi-final.
Here, Qalandars has got a huge blow after Chris Lynn, the Centurian of their last match against Multan Sultans, had decided to go back home due to the current pandemic across the world. They are now left with the options of Fakhar Zaman, skipper Sohail Akhtar, and center of attraction Ben Dunk in their top-order. It looks strong but depends on how they plan things for the big match.
The rest of their line-ups look pretty much similar to the one they went with in the last matches respectively. They have firepower in batting and bowling which means that an enthralling contest awaits cricket fans in the country.
On the other hand, table-toppers Sultans are favorites to win the first semi-final against one-time champion Zalmi who will be without their main foreign players. But, Zalmi isn’t an easy opponent for sure because last time when they took the same team in the round match with all local players, they lost the match by just three runs. So, the contest is going to be stellar.
This PSL has had a lot of drama, emotions, and excitement firstly due to happening completely in the home country and secondly the level of competition during home and away matches. Apart from that, the crowd has showed fantastic support throughout, unfortunately, the semi-finals and final will be played behind the closed doors but fans will be glued in front of television screens to support their favorites.