Karachi Kings claim first-ever Pakistan Super League title

18 Nov 2020
Sridhar Bhamidi 18 Nov 2020
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  • Karachi Kings won the 2020 Pakistan Super League title
  • The Kings got the better of arch-rivals Lahore Qalandars in the PSL Final
  • The Kings won by five wickets at the National Stadium in Karachi
pakistan super league
Karachi Kings' celebrate after winning the Pakistan Super League (PSL) (Getty Images)

Babar Azam’s classy unbeaten 63 off just 49 balls guided Karachi Kings to their first-ever Pakistan Super League title. 

In a low-scoring encounter on Tuesday, the Kings got the better of arch-rivals Lahore Qalandars at the National Stadium in Karachi. 

Like we pointed out in our match preview, Azam proved to be the difference between the two sides.

Surprisingly choosing to bat first after winning the toss, the Qalandars couldn’t get going on a two-paced wicket and could only score 134/7. 

Openers Tamim Iqbal (35 off 38 balls) and Fakhar Zaman (27 off 24) added 68 runs in 10.1 overs, but could never get out of the first gear. The Kings’ bowlers kept taking wickets at regular intervals, making it even more difficult.

The recalled Umaid Asif impressed with returns of 2/18 while Waqas Maqsood (2/18) and Arshad Iqbal (2/26) also chipped in. The Qalandars ended up playing 52 dot balls which proved detrimental in the final analysis.

Any hopes the Qalandars may have had of a fightback were quashed by Babar Azam. The classy right-hander has been in great form for Pakistan and Karachi Kings and continued to reap rewards. He added 61 runs for the third-wicket with Chadwick Walton (22 off 27) and made sure that a late wicket surge from Haris Rauf (2/30) is quelled.

It was a bittersweet moment for the Karachi Kings, as they won their maiden PSL title at the fifth time of asking at home against arch-rivals Lahore Qalandars. Ironically enough, the architects of the win – Azam and stand-in coach Wasim Akram – were from Lahore! Azam went on to win the ‘man of the match’, ‘batsman of the tournament’ and ‘player of the tournament’ awards.

Speaking in the post-match presentation, the Kings’ captain Imad Wasim called the victory a tribute to their departed coach Dean Jones, who was a legendary figure at the club. Jones died in Mumbai in September following a cardiac arrest at the age of 59. 

Imad said: “Dean Jones gets the credit because what he taught us, very few coaches in the world can. Wasim Akram deserves the trophy because he was our bowling coach, head coach, mentor, and team president all rolled into one. It’s an honour to coach this franchise.”

Azam spoke about remaining cool in the middle and stay till the end. He said, “It’s been a great year for me, but today, I just needed to remain cool. I feel the calmer you are, the better you perform. I just knew I had to be there at the finish, and in the end, we chased it with ease.”