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PSL final showdown

Nigah Muhammad

The writer is a reporter and journalist.

The biggest match in the history of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is being held today. Year 2020 has been an unusual year as the world suffered immensely from the coronavirus pandemic.

The virus emerged from China and gradually engulfed the entire world as economies crumbled right in front of our eyes, institutes went bankrupt and millions of people lost their jobs while the world still continues to face the onslaught of the contagion. But after witnessing the PSL final between Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars, I am convinced that 2020 is certainly an unusual year.

The two teams in PSL final are considered arch-rivals and crickets fans are enthusiastic to see them compete together. Karachi Kings has performed exceptionally throughout the tournament while Lahore Qalandars  played well in the past five matches and found its place in the final. Given the way Qalandars defeated Multan Sultans and Peshawar Zalmi to reach the final, it does not seem they will hand over Kings the trophy on a silver platter.

This does not mean that Karachi is a weak opponent as it remains in a firm position to destroy any adversary. The way it went on to easily control the Multan Sultans in the qualifiers does not show the team in a weak spot as it can easily change the course of the match.

If we are to look at the players then on one side we have Babar Azam, Sharjeel Khan and Alex Hales while Lahore Qalandars has the support of Fakhar Zaman, Tamim Iqbal and Muhammad Hafeez. On the bowling side, Muhammad Amir, Waqas Masood and Wayne Parnell are up against Qalandar’s sensation Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and Dilbar Hussain.

Ben Dunk and David Wiese are known high hitting sixes while Karachi Kings skipper Imad Wasim and Stephen Redford are no less and can exhilarate the crowds. The biggest attraction will be star batsman Babar Azam who has scored 410 runs so far in the tournament. On the opposing side is the young and talented Shaheen Afridi who has bagged the highest 17 wickets. Cricket fans will be eager to watch the two face off and determine who has the upper hand.

It’s not just about Karachi Kings versus Lahore Qalandars. The nation has been split into two groups literally. A quick overview of social media shows the cricket-obsessed nation as we find a new analysis every day as the winning team is praised and the losing sides bashed while the captain evaluated.

The pitch will also make a difference as National Stadium is one of the few grounds where the ball does not carry on. Babar Azam and Hafeez made their teams victorious on this ground while bowlers will take full advantage of the field. Both teams are prepared as the nation awaits this exhilarating final to determine who will finally be crowned as the PSL winner.