Lahore: Peshawar Zalmi defeated Quetta Gladiators by 58 runs in the historic final to win the second edition of the Pakistan Super League at the picturesque Gaddafi Stadium here on Sunday evening. An inspirational Darren Sammy led Peshawar Zalmi to title win in the second edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Lahore on Sunday.
What was to be an intensely competitive final battle turned into a one-sided game. Chasing target of 149, Quetta made a dismal start as their batting order collapsed under pressure of the target set by Peshawar.
Fourteen overs in, Quetta had scored a sluggish 81 runs and their eight men were down. Mohammad Asghar claimed three scalps while Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali claimed two wickets apiece.
This was the match between Pakistan and terrorism, and Pakistan has already won this match. For all the cricketing superstars that broke new barriers and descended at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, it was singing sensation and composer of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) theme Balle Balle, Shezhad Roy, who summed up the magnitude of elite cricket’s return to Pakistan soil the best.
For by the time Ramiz Raja finished screaming, “Lahore, are you ready to entertain Pakistan?” before cupping his ear Hulk Hogan-style to indicate that the crowd wasn’t responding loud enough, Pakistan had commenced a new chapter in their cricket history. After years of being left languishing in the dark, cricket in Pakistan was back in the limelight with the Gaddafi Stadium shimmering under the Lahore night sky. Even if it was only for one night only at this stage, Pakistan was making a statement to the rest of the cricket world.
Standing next to Raja was Darren Sammy, who’s become the face of the PSL this season. He and four other high-profile T20 stars, all part of eventual champions Peshawar Zalmi, from around the world had broken new ground earlier on Sunday by agreeing to make the trip to Lahore for the final. They included fellow West Indian Marlon Samuels and England all-rounder Chris Jordan. And Sammy , who’s fast gaining the moniker of being the most liked cricketer in the world , had been at his entertaining best during the closing ceremony of the PSL that was held some two hours before the final. While he enthralled a packed Stadium with the inevitable Champion dance, he also clicked selfies with the groundsmen before walking around the field along with his fellow foreign players proudly donning a red-coloured Pakistani military cap.
Sammy, the Zalmi captain, didn’t fail to raise the roof with bat in hand either after walking in to bat with his team in a precarious position. He smashed three sixes in an unbeaten 11-ball 28 that turned the complexion of the match. One of the sixes landed up in the third tier of the stand, with Sammy brushing his bicep and bat nonchalantly as if to say ‘that was easy’.