BY KAUKAB AZHAR
This PSL season saw several outstanding performances from local and foreign players. However, some players failed to live up to the expectations of their franchises and fans. Here’s a look at the top players who flopped in this year’s edition.
Asif Ali (Islamabad United)
Islamabad United had a season to forget. The two-time winner came 6th in this year’s edition. Asif Ali was a major disappointment. He is the second-highest scorer for Islamabad United in all seasons, only behind Luke Ronchi. It was his performances in the PSL that helped him break into the international side. This season, however, he failed miserably. In 7 innings, Asif scored only 80 runs with the best score of 20.
Iftikhar Ahmed (Karachi Kings)
Misbah’s favorite, a regular in Pakistan’s national side, Iftikhar Ahmed has been a top performer in the domestic circuit for several years. However, his PSL performances have never been of any note. This season he managed to score only 96 runs in 10 innings at an average of 12. Besides, he picked up two wickets in the tournament.
Usman Shinwari (Lahore Qalandars)
Usman Shinwari was once considered an automatic selection for the national team. This season started with a lot of expectations from Usman Shinwari. He was the first-choice with the new ball but he failed to pick even a single wicket in the four matches he played. His economy rate was 11.45. Subsequently, he lost his place to the likes of Dilbar Hussain, Haris Rauf, and Salman Irshad.
Muhammad Irfan (Multan Sultans)
Muhammad Irfan was a surprise addition to the Pakistan T20 squad in Australia that was held right before PSL in February. He struggled to find the rhythm in the first phase of the tournament. Irfan bowled at an average of 53 runs per wicket and managed to grab only 4 scalps in 8 games. He was selected ahead of Junaid Khan and Ali Shafiq who could have performed way better than Irfan.
Tom Banton (Peshawar Zalmi)
Banton was rated highly by the cricketing gurus. In the recent T20I series against Pakistan, he was the top scorer for England, scoring 145 runs at an average of 45. He let Peshawar Zalmi down with his performances in the first phase of the tournament. His weakness against the spin bowling was exposed. Banton scored 74 runs in 7 innings with only one score of 30+.
Ahmed Shehzad (Quetta Gladiators)
Ahmed Shehzad has always used domestic tournaments as a route back to international cricket, only to be dropped after failing to perform there. However, this season, Shehzad couldn’t deliver even in his favored format.
Shehzad was the guilt of playing selfishly, regularly consuming a high percentage of dot balls in the initial stages of the innings and then throwing it away when acceleration was required. In 7 innings, he scored 61 runs at an average of 8.71. More importantly, his strike rate was 95.31 which is completely unacceptable for this format.