Dubai: The Karachi Kings team members paid their dues to the contribution of late Dean Jones, their Head Coach throughout their campaign till the play-offs, after winning their maiden Pakistan Super League title on their home turf on Tuesday. The ‘Kings’ rode a majestic 63 by Babar Azam, Pakistan’s leading batsmen, to beat Lahore Qalandars by five wickets in the final.
“Dean Jones, of course, gets credit because what he taught us, very few coaches in the world can. Wasim Akram, of course, deserves the trophy because he was our bowling coach, head coach, mentor, and team president rolled in one. It’s an honour to captain this franchise,” said captain Imad Wasim.
‘Deano,’ as the former Australian great was popular as, had passed away after a heart attack in Mumbai in September when he was working as a broadcaster for the Indian Premier League (IPL). Karachi had progressed to the play-offs under his guidance during February-March, but the last stage had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lauding his bowlers’ show in the finals for restricting Lahore to a modest total of 134 for seven, Wasim said: “The way the bowlers bowled was fantastic. We misread the pitch somewhat, too, because we wanted to bat first, too. The bounce wasn’t true and so we varied our pace and lines, and I think our bowlers executed their plans perfectly.”
“We knew if Babar put on a masterclass, we could effectively put our feet up in the chase. Obviously, anything can go wrong and in the end, we lost a couple of wickets all of a sudden, and that’s why I’d decided to go in lower down the order, so we’d have some security at the end,” he added.
Azam, who finished the tournament with 472 runs, was named as Player of the PSL as well as the Best batsman of PSL 2020. The Pakistan skipper is the second Karachi Kings player to win the prestigious award after Ravi Bopara was declared Player of the PSL 2016 after aggregating 329 runs and taking 11 wickets.
Babar’s Pakistan teammate Shaheen Shah Afridi won the Best bowler of PSL 2020 as he took 17 wickets at an economy rate of 7.11. Shaheen’s Lahore teammate Ben Dunk lifted The award for Best wicketkeeper of PSL 2020 after accounting for nine batsmen behind the wickets.
Haider Ali was declared as the Emerging Player of PSL 2020. The 20-year-old justified his category by first making an impression in the first half of the tournament that earned him a Pakistan call-up before finishing the competition with 239 runs at a strike-rate of 157.23.
Fakhar Zaman was named as the Best Fielder after finishing the tournament with 10 catches.
PSL ROLL OF HONOUR
Player of the tournament: Babar Azam (Karachi Kings)
Best bowler of the tournament: Shaheen Shah Afridi (Lahore Qalandars)
Best batsman of the tournament: Babar Azam (Karachi Kings)
Best wicketkeeper of the tournament: Ben Dunk (Lahore Qalandars)
Best fielder of the tournament : Fakhar Zaman (Lahore Qalandars)
Emerging player of the tournament: Haider Ali (Peshawar Zalmi)