At last, the most awaited cricket league PSL started with a bang. Islamabad United faced Quetta Gladiators in the first match of the league. Dubai International Stadium hosted the match. Quetta won the toss and chose to field. Anwar Ali bowled the first ball. And Shane Watson played it elegantly. Though the team was not able to put up a competitive score. Islamabad scored 128-7 in 20 overs. Misbah’s proved his abilities yet again. He scored 41 off 28. Also, Andre Russel scored a quick-fire 35. Emerging star, Muhammad Nawaz picked up 4 wickets for 13 runs. Yet, it was not a good total considering the batting conditions at UAE. Hence, Quetta chased it down with ease. Thanks to English all-rounder Luke Wright’s 86 not-out of 53 made this match look one-sided. Muhammad Nawaz collected the man of the match award of the very first match of PSL 2016.
Though the stadium wasn’t a full house but the crowd started to build up in the next matches. Thanks to a lot of excited matches. Most of the matches were low scoring. Yet competitive. In other words, bowlers owned the PSL. Much as PSL’s motto
“AB KHEL KE DIKHA”
Most noteworthy matches of group stage include Peshawar Zalmi against Karachi Kings, match 10 of PSL 2016. Pehsawar batting first scored 182-4 in 20 overs. In response, Karachi managed to score 179-9 in 20 overs. Almost winning the match for Kings Ravi Bopara was not able to get it team over the line.
Also, the highest scoring match of PSL 2016, match 18. Lahore Qalandars scored a mighty total of 201-2. Thanks to Chris Gayle’s rapid 60 runs. In response, Quetta played beautifully and chased this grand total on the last ball of the innings. Mohammad Nabi getting his team over the line by hitting FOUR on the last delivery.
Furthermore, the most hyped rivalry of the PSL, Karachi Kings versus Lahore Qalandars. Karachi Kings defeated Lahore Qalandars somewhat easily in both the group matches.
Team Performances in Group Stage
Lahore Qalandars had a disappointed run in PSL 2016. They finished last in the group stages. It was the first team to get eliminated. Winning only 2 out of their 8 matches.
Karachi Kings also could not lived up to the expectations. They also won only 2 matches. That too against just Lahore Qalandars. They finished 4th and somehow managed to stay into the race at the end of first round.
Islamabad United was inconsistent in the group stage. They won 4 and lost 4 matches. This team was at the 3rd position on the points table.
Quetta Gladiators, the underdogs of PSL, impressed everyone. They turned out to be a much stronger team than others. They just lost 2 out of their 8 matches.
Peshawar Zalmi topped the points table. Winning 6 of their matches. They looked strong and performed even strongly in group matches.
Both Peshawar and Quetta qualified for the Qualifier 1 in Play-Offs. While Islamabad and Karachi faced each other in the Eliminator round.
PSL 2016 turned up its heat in the Play-Offs and the race for the title became intense!