Babar Azam and Umaid Asif shone brightly as the Karachi Kings lifted the PSL 2020 title after defeating the Lahore Qalandars by five wickets in the final at Karachi.
Chasing 135 for victory, Azam guided the team home with a mature knock of 63 from 49 balls. This was after Asif dismissed well-set Lahore openers Tamim Iqbal and Fakhar Zaman to give the Karachi Kings the upper hand in the first innings.
Sharjeel Khan perished for 13 in the chase after being brilliantly caught by Zaman on the boundary, while Alex Hales was cleaned up by a cutter from Dilbar Hussain.
A third-wicket stand of 61 between Azam and Chadwick Walton (22) then put the Karachi Kings firmly in command. Even two wickets in two balls from Haris Rauf, who dismissed Iftikhar Ahmed and Sherfane Rutherford, did not harm the Karachi Kings’ chances.
Karachi Kings restrict Lahore with smart bowling
Batting first after winning the toss, Lahore Qalandars made a disappointing 134 for 7. Openers Iqbal and Zaman got the team off to a sound start, adding 68 for the opening wicket in 10 overs. However, once the partnership was broken, Lahore completely lost momentum.
From 68 for no loss, Lahore crumbled to 70 for 3 in a matter of a few deliveries. They kept losing wickets regularly from that point, and did not manage to post a competitive score.
Iqbal, who was the top-scorer for Lahore with 35 from 38, was the first man to perish, lofting Asif straight to the fielder in the deep. In the same over, Asif also dismissed the dangerous Zaman, who was looking good on 27.
Unarguably, the biggest blow to Lahore was dealt by Karachi Kings skipper Imad Wasim, who sent back the experienced Mohammad Hafeez cheaply. The latter sliced the left-arm spinner to be caught at mid-off.
The middle and lower order failed to contribute much, and even the big-hitting David Wiese could only make a run-a-ball 14. A couple of big hits from Shaheen Shah Afridi took Lahore past 130.
For the Karachi Kings, Asif, Arshad Iqbal and Waqas Maqsood all claimed two wickets each while skipper Wasim picked up one.
PSL 2020 Final, KK vs LQ: Who was the Man of the Match?
Azam and Asif from the Karachi Kings were the chief contenders for Man of the Match in the PSL 2020 final. If not for Asif’s twin strikes, which saw him send back Iqbal and Zaman in the same over, Lahore could have finished with a much bigger total.
However, it was Azam who was chosen as the Man of the Final. Even though the Karachi Kings were chasing a small total, the pressure of a big final always makes things tougher. Azam ensured the fall of wickets did not affect the Karachi Kings at all, and guided them over the line.