Kamran Khamiso Khowaja
Pakistan Super League Season 5, which was affected by the global pandemic COVID 19 concluded with the victory of Karachi Kings by 5 wickets at the National stadium. Karachi Kings easily reached the target of 135 with the help of Babar Azam,s 63 not out who is in sublime batting form and has proved himself a prolific Batsman of modern-day cricket. Both teams that reached the finals failed to impress in previous seasons of PSL, Particularly Lahore Qulander,s performance was undesirable and continued to disappoint its fans with every passing season. Kudos to Rana Fawad who did not lose hope and his team finally made it to the finals but unfortunately could not deliver on the day. Karachi Kings on the other hand remained consistent with their performance, teamwork, steady combination and effective strategies against the opposition made them the winners of this season. Multan Sultans ended on top of the points table followed by Lahore Qalandars, Karachi Kings, and Peshawer Zalmi but following a flaring epidemic, the playoffs round of PSL 5 was postponed, which resumed last week. Peshawer Zalmi was eliminated after it lost to Lahore Qalanders, while Multansultans that was the hot favorite side for winning the title woefully lost both its matches of the playoff round and could not qualify for the finals. Lahore Qalandars won the toss and elected to bat in the all-important final but never looked in the commanding position right from the first ball and managed to reach to the score of 135 for the loss of 7 wickets no batsmen from Lahore stood up to the occasion and threw their wickets on the batting-friendly surface. Karachi chased the target with ease. The way Karachi Kings played during the whole tournament is plausible. On the contrary, Lahore’s start in this tournament was not very impressive but it made a remarkable comeback. Seasoned All-Rounder Mohammad Hafiz, Australian Cricketer Ben Dunk, South African All Rounder David vise, and young speed guns Haris Rauf and Shaheen Afridi played key roles in taking Lahore to the Finals. Hafeez who is nearing his forties seems unstoppable, in the latter part of his cricketing career. At the end of the day, Both teams deserve Ardent appreciation for putting up wholehearted efforts. Besides that, all stakeholders, Franchises, Sindh Government, Law enforcement agencies, and especially Pakistan Cricket Board should be eulogized who endeavored for the revival of International Cricket. Cricket zeal was at its peak across the country though the matches were held behind closed doors.
(-The writer is a Law Student and Columnist based in Sujawal.)