Tuesday Mar 03, 2020
Two balls into the 11th over of the Lahore Qalandars' innings, everything was going according to Quetta Gladiators' plan. The home side were three down after a decent start and two foreign journeymen, one English and another Aussie, with a combined age of 67, were at the crease.
The match as well as the season, yet another season, was as good as over. After all, what could Ben Dunk and Samit Patel do? Had the economy been better, fans would have walked out of the stadium.
But in that 11th over, something changed. It's hard to say if it was the prayers of the Qalandars faithful, black magic, sheer coincidence or something else but something changed dramatically in that 11th over.
Dunk and Patel became the cricket's version of Batman and Robin.
Over the next 9.4 overs or 58 balls, it rained boundaries at an unprecedented rate. Dunk went completely berserk and Patel went almost as insane.
The pair got together when the score was 50-3. By the time they were done the scoreboard read 205-4. What happened in between was a blur. Let's rely on some numbers extracted from the scorecard. Dunk hit a PSL record 10 sixes for a 43-ball 93. His sidekick scored 71 off 40.
Together, they shared a 155-run partnership that was just 2 shy of the biggest ever PSL partnership. Their stupendous knocks meant that Lahore posted the highest score of PSL 2020 so far.
Let’s not dilute their feats by talking how Quetta batted or how Qalandars bowled. Just know that Lahore Qalandars won, got their first two points of the tournament and pretty much saved their season. For now, that is.