A highly entertaining PSL campaign came to an end on Sunday, 17 March, as Quetta Gladiators were crowned champions in Karachi.
Well-travelled Twenty20 superstar Dwayne Bravo was delighted to gain some more silverware, but was also quick to praise a new emerging star – Mohammad Hasnain, who took three crucial wickets in the final.
The two-time runners-up were dominant throughout the final, and in response to a below-par 138/8 from Peshawar Zalmi, the Gladiators ambled to an eight-wicket victory. A calm, unbeaten 58 from Ahmed Shehzad guided the chase, after a masterful bowling performance in the first-innings allowed for a risk-free pursuit.
The chase was a fairly straightforward one for Quetta, whose mentor is West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards, as they lost just two wickets before knocking off the runs with 13 balls remaining. South Africa's Rilee Rossouw (39*) struck the winning shot.
Bravo was full of energy following the tournament win, praising the effort of his team and his captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, while singling out Player of the Match Hasnain, who finished with 3/30.
"PSL is a big tournament, and we were against a very good side. It was a great, great team effort. Pakistan is a cricket-crazy nation, we experience the love and we feel the love," Bravo said.
"Special mention to captain Sarfaraz – his bowling choices were different. In Hasnain, Pakistan have another young talent. PSL is the one title I had never won before, so happy to tick another one off my list."
Hasnain, who has turned heads in the PSL this year with 12 wickets at a brilliant average of 17.58, dedicated his award to his parents, before outlining his intentions for the near future. He has got his maiden call-up to the squad for the one-day internationals against Australia.
"I have always been a fast bowler, and I hope to bowl even faster," he said. "I learnt from the big players here, learnt a lot sharing the dressing room with them.
18 years old fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain is the first local player to get man-of-the-match award in PSL Final. The previous three were Luke Ronchi, Daren Sammy and Dwayne Smith. #PSLFinal— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) March 17, 2019
"I prefer getting my wickets via yorkers or bouncers. [I] want to do well in the ODIs against Australia [and] maybe get a spot in the World Cup squad as well."
Kamran Akmal and Imam ul-Haq, two key performers for Peshawar, both faltered at the top of the order in the final, setting the tone for the rest of the innings. Umar Amin then accumulated for his 33-ball 38, albeit ultimately too slowly in comparison to the swashbuckling efforts this year’s PSL has served up.
Bravo was at his tight best, sending down a myriad of variations, recording figures of 2/24, and wily leg-spinner Farad Ahmed was equally effective, the 37-year-old unplayable at times for his 1/22.
CONGRATULATIONS BOYS!!— Sir Vivian Richards (@ivivianrichards) March 17, 2019
Together we have done it. As a team, as one we made it. A big thank you to all the fans and those who believed in us.@thePSLt20 CHAMPIONS 👊🏻 #PurpleForce @TeamQuetta pic.twitter.com/jA5LWnpF1S
Seam bowling sensation Hasnain was the most potent however, capping off a wonderful breakthrough campaign with three vital scalps: ul-Haq, Umar Amin and Peshawar captain Darren Sammy.
In reply, Quetta lost tournament top-scorer Shane Watson early on as the bowlers probed intently, but Wahab Riaz's wicket of Ahsan Ali (25) was the only moment of note for the losing side after that, as England duo Chris Jordan and Tamal Mills couldn't dislodge Rossouw or half-centurion Shehzad.
Watson was announced as Player of the Tournament while also picking up the batting honours, as Hasan Ali claimed Bowler of the Tournament and young left-arm spinner Umer Khan won Emerging Player.