A rookie, a veteran, a king, a dasher and the potential Prime Minister
PSL is in full flow and several amazing innings have been played. Here we look at the five innings which in our opinion were match defining and great to watch
1. Azam Khan
59 VS Islamabad United
Azam must have grown up with people questioning his ability and jumping rather soon to the conclusion that he gets advantage because of who his father is. This is not just him, this is true for all of us, but when your father is famous and you get in the same profession as him and if that profession happens to be in public eye much more than any other profession in the country then you have to live with a permanent scrutiny. In this age of fitness where professional athletes are fitter and faster than ever, Azam is clearly overweight, son of the coach and he made it the playing 11. Oh man, this is Pakistan and Azam is a product of nepotism but hold on hold on. The guy played the first match of the tournament and came in to bat with his side staring down the barrel. From there on, he turned the match on his head scoring a match winning 59 off 33 balls. In the process he hit three sixes putting his power to use. This was a very good innings under pressure. Now we are looking forward to Azam becoming fitter and leaner and entertaining us further.
2. Kamran Akmal
101 vs Quetta Gladiators
Kamran has been the best batsman in the history of PSL, and at 38, he is not coming slow. Quetta Gladiators found that out the hard way. A pitch where Jason Roy_ one of the best international limited overs opener_ was not able to get going the way he would have liked but Kamran Akmal played one of the greatest PSL innings of all times. He scored first century of PSL 2020. This was his third century in PSL. He tore apart the gladiators with his belligerent hitting right from the word go. Every one, was treated with a disdain especially, Nawaz bore the brunt of Akmal power. Ironically, Kamran has not been selected in international squad for fitness reasons but the way he is going makes us think that ‘age is just a number’ is probably true if you work hard and keep yourself fit and ready.
3. Babar Azam
78 vs Peshawar Zalmi
Babar Azam is the number 1 batsman in the world and it is not just a Pakistani opinion, the current ranking shows it. With a regal cover drive and perfect balance he is a batting royalty, so it is apt that he plays for the Kings. Against Peshawar Zalmi he was at his regal best. He started carefully but once he got settled in there was nothing stopping him. It was a high class innings where Babar showed his talent aswell as his fitness. He hit a couple of sixes, may be just to show that he can hit sixes if he chooses but he goes for fours because likes to caress the field rather than putting ball in the air. It was a delight to watch an amazing batsman at the peak of his powers. An unfortunate mix up with Banton prevented what could have been a well-deserved 100 but there are still more matches to come. Let us keep our fingers crossed for some more moments of magic from the young master.
4. Shadab Khan
52 vs Lahore Qalandars
Shadab Khan played one of the most defining innings of PSL which shows that he is a genuine all-rounder. In his younger days, Shadab idolized Steven Smith but we hope he does not give up leg spin for becoming a top order batsman but rather focuses on becoming the top all-rounder in the world. Earlier in the match Shadab had bowled 4 Overs for 14 runs and took two wickets but that did not stop Qalandars from posting a huge total on the board. Hafeez played exceptionally well for his 98 and despite Shadab’s great bowling Islamabad had a steep chase ahead of them, so what can Shadab do? He comes to bat with his team in big trouble at 5 for 2 and smashes it to all corners of the ground. He hit four sixes and his innings created such a momentum that Islamabad were able to chase down 182 after a thrilling finish. Shadab batted well, bowled well, and captained the team. What is next_ so you are thinking what we are thinking_ ARE we talking about the future PM
5. Rilee Rossouw
100 vs Quetta Gladiators
Rilee Rossouw walked in to bat in the 8th over of the innings at the match, to join the skipper Shan Masood at the crease. Multan Sultans were three down with not many on the board. There was a need to consolidate and take the team to a respectable total or at least that is what the supporters of Multan would have hoped. Rilee had something else on his mind, forget consolidation and caution. He threw kitchen sink at the Quetta bowlers. Gladiators’ attack boasts two of the quickest pacers in the PSL. Naseem Shah and Hasnain were thwarted with 2 sixes each. In all Rilee hit 10 fours and 6 sixes. It was an entertaining knock and laid the foundations of a fairly easy victory for Multan Sultans.
There you have it. These 5 Batting stars – Azam, Shadab, Babar, Kamran and Rilee – are making PSL 5 a force to be reckoned with! Let’s see what the coming week holds for us!