Pakistan Super League (PSL) season 8 has come and gone with Lahore Qalandars lifting its second straight trophy after a thrilling final against Multan Sultans which earns their player’s plenty of spots in the “Team of the Tournament”.
With the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announcing its team of the tournament, let’s take a gander at who makes Pakistan Observer’s best XI.
Pakistan Observer’s PSL 8 Team of the Tournament:
Mohammad Rizwan: (Multan Sultans)
The wicket-keeper batter led Multan Sultans to a third-straight PSL final while leading the scoring charts with 550 runs courtesy of 1×100, 4x50s and a strike rate of 142.85.
Babar Azam: (Peshawar Zalmi)
Despite the criticism around his game, Zalmi’s captain finished second on the scoring charts with 522 runs courtesy of 1X100 and 5x50s at a strike rate of 145.50.
Rilee Rossouw: (Multan Sultans)
Rossouw was arguably the Sultans’ most impactful player in PSL 8.
The South African finished third on the scoring charts with 453 runs which came at a strike rate of 171.5 and included a brief record of the fastest PSL century and 3x50s.
Mohammad Haris: (Peshawar Zalmi)
350 runs at a strike rate of 186.17 with 2x50s earn Haris a place in Pakistan Observer’s PSL Team of the Tournament ahead of Saim Ayub who enjoyed a breakout year himself.
Azam Khan: (Islamabad United)
Azam finally caught the eye of Pakistan cricket’s selectors with his performances in PSL 8 which included 282 runs at a strike rate of 161.14 and 2x50s.
His 42-ball 97 against Quetta will be on the highlight reels of this year’s competition.
Kieron Pollard: (Multan Sultans)
The West Indian finished the year with 260 runs at an average of 52.00 and a strike rate of 163.52.
His performances helped Multan chase down a record total against Zalmi and helped them earn crucial wins at the start of the tournament.
Imad Wasim: (Karachi Kings)
Imad singlehandedly kept Karachi alive in the majority of their matches despite little support from others.
The captain of the Kings finished the year with 404 runs courtesy of 3x50s, a strike rate of 170.46 and 9 wickets with an economy rate of 7.93 which led to his international comeback.
Shaheen Shah Afridi: (Lahore Qalandars Capt):
Shaheen started off slow but picked up steam towards the business end of the tournament with both the bat and the ball.
He scored 133 runs at a strike rate of 168.35 while taking 19 wickets at an economy rate of 9.13. His 44 off just 15 balls in the final also turned the tie towards Lahore.
His captaincy also improved by leaps and bounds this season and he becomes the first person to lead their side to two consecutive PSL titles.
Rashid Khan: (Lahore Qalandars)
Rashid remains perhaps the best bowler in T20 cricket and it showed during PSL 8.
The leg-spinner took 20 wickets in the tournament, the third-most this year, at an economy rate of 6.53. His wicket of Rossouw in the final was also crucial in Lahore’s win.
Ihsanullah: (Multan Sultans)
Voted the player of the tournament, Ihsanullah appears to be the find of PSL 8.
The pacer finished second on the wicket-takers list with 22 at an economy rate of 7.59 which has led to an international call-up already.
Zaman Khan: (Lahore Qalandars)
His 15 wickets and an economy rate of 8.53 may not jump out on a stats sheet but Zaman Khan managed to rise to the occasion when called upon.
He defended 14 and 12 runs against the Sultans in the opening match and the final respectively, a feat nearly impossible in modern T20 cricket.
His clutchness earns him a place above Abbas Afridi despite him finishing as the tournament’s highest wicket-taker.