Karachi Kings become PSL champions with win over Lahore Qalandars in final

Zohaib Ahmed Majeed

Karachi Kings have become the new champions after defeating Lahore Qalandars by five wickets in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 final at the National Stadium. 

Although Babar Azam's unbeaten 63 would likely steal the headlines, the victory was actually built on the hard work done by Karachi's unheralded, uncapped and unknown medium-pacers Umaid Asif, Waqas Maqsood and Arshad Iqbal 

The trio laid the foundation over which Babar later capitalised and got his side the victory in a comfortable run chase.

Umaid, Waqas and Arshad combined to bowl 12 over for Karachi, gave away just 62 runs and picked up six wickets - two apiece.

Neither has ever played at the highest level but still proved more than a match for Lahore's studded, in-form batting line-up that threw away a solid start.

From 68-0, they managed a meek 134-7 as the openers' slow batting put pressure on the rest of the batters, who, in their attempt to up the scoring rate, kept losing wickets. The proverbial fireworks kept on getting postponed and in the end, never came.

In their defence, Lahore batsmen can claim that the wicket was 'double-paced', which it was as the ball did not come on to the bat all innings - even for those known for their clean hitting. 

In response, Karachi always looked in control until a late flurry of wickets but Babar Azam's presence got them through.

Babar was named the man of the match, the batsman of the tournament as well as the player of the tournament - accolades that also earned him a total of $34,500 in rewards.

Ben Dunk was named the wicketkeeper and Shaheen Afridi the bowler of the tournament.


End of live blog!

135-5 after 18.4 overs: Karachi Kings win!

129-5 after 18 overs: Imad blocks a few then flicks a four to almost put the game to bed. Just six needed now off 12.

Imad Wasim 5 (4) Babar Azam 62 (48)

124-5 after 17.2 overs: Almost a carbon-copy dismissal as the bull jumps at Rutherford who deposits an easy catch nearby. Haris Rauf on a hat-trick.

Captain Imad Wasim is in.

124-4 after 17.1 overs: Iftikhar gifts a catch at mid-on. Karachi four down but the match is still in their control. Can there be late drama? 

124-3 after 17 overs:

114-3 after 16 overs: Dilber returns and traps Walton (22) in front of wickets. Even then, it's perhaps a bit too late.

Iftikhar Ahmed 1 (2) Babar Azam 56 (45)

110-2 after 15 overs: In a desperation move, Shaheen is brought back to make something happen but unperturbed Babar pays no respect to the fact that his national teammate is this PSL's highest wicket-taker. He finds two boundaries and also brings up his second straight 50.

99-2 after 14 overs: Just when it seemed as if the last few overs could be tensed and close, Haris Rauf bowls an expensive, wayward over. A bouncy, wide ball beats the keeper for four before a Babar Azam four does more damage. Fourteen runs off it. Just 36 needed now off 36 balls with eight wickets in hand and Babar at the crease - pretty much as easy an ask as any.

Chadwick Walton 21 (25) Babar Azam 43 (37)

85-2 after 13 overs:

80-2 after 12 overs: Babar Azam 35 (31) Chadwick Walton 17 (19)

55 needed off 48

76-2 after 11 overs: Multiple dot balls in the over but Walton finds a boundary to keep the scoreboard ticking.

Chadwick Walton 15 (17) Babar Azam 33 (27)

69-2 after 10 overs: Both batsmen are playing sensibly, not taking risk, of which there is no need also. Just 66 needed off 60 balls. Single, doubles coupled with a boundary every now and then would get them home comfortably. The field being spread out also helps their cause.

63-2 after 9 overs: Babar Azam 29 (23) Chadwick Walton 7 (9)

53-2 after 8 overs: The wickets have curtailed the flow of runs. Samit Patel gives away just 3.

At this stage, Lahore were 59-0.

50-2 after 7 overs: Dilber redeems himself and bowls out Hales (11) with an off-cutter.

Chadwick Walton 1 (1) Babar Azam 22 (19)

43-1 after 6 overs: Babar Azam 17 (16) Alex Hales 10 (9)

35-1 after 5 overs: Dilber has a history of giving extras and he does it again with a no-ball and a wide. It doesn't prove too expensive a mistake as Babar cannot smash the free hit out of the park. 

28-1 after 4 overs: Sharjeel manages to get out on a ball he should have hit a six. Patel's short ball is pulled and Fakhar goes diving in and takes an outstanding clutch catch. 13 off 12 for Sharjeel. 

Alex Hales is in.

23-0 after 3 overs: Better over for Lahore as Shaheen gives away just three.

Sharjeel Khan 13 (11) Babar Azam 10 (7)

20-0 after 2 overs: A pacey but inaccurate over by Haris Rauf, who is hit for two 4s by Sharjeel on either side of the wicket. 

11-0 after 1 over: Round 1 over Babar v Shaheen won by the former. Two glorious cover-driven fours in the opening over. 

0-0 after 0 over: Babar Azam and Sharjeel Khan have taken the crease. Just a reminder that the last time these two were in a run-chase against Lahore in Karachi, they shared a 151-run stand and got their side a resounding 10-wicket win.

Shaheen Afridi has the new ball in his hands.

Story at the break: Umaid Asif, Waqas Maqsood and Arshad Iqbal combined to bowl 12 over for Karachi, gave away just 62 runs and picked up six wickets - two apiece.

Neither has ever played at the highest level but still proved more than a match for Lahore's studded, in-form batting line-up that threw away a solid start.

From 68-0, they managed a meek 134-7 as the openers' slow batting put pressure on the rest of the batters, who, in their attempt to up the scoring rate, kept losing wickets. The proverbial fireworks kept on getting postponed and in the end, never came.

In their defence, Lahore batsmen can claim that the wicket was 'double-paced', which it was as the ball did not come on to the bat all innings - even for those known for their clean hitting. That inconsistency of the wicket also gives a glimmer of hope to Lahore bowlers that they might be able to defend their total - provided that they get some wickets early on. 

134-7 after 20 overs: Shaheen Afridi does it so often with the ball but this time he helps his team with the bat. In the final over by Amir, the lanky Shaheen gets a six and an improvised four - both much-needed.

Shaheen Afridi 12 (4) David Wiese 14 (14)

119-7 after 19 overs: Second wicket of the over for Maqsood, third catch of the night for Iftikhar as Mohammad Faizan departs for a golden duck.

Maqsood's figures: 4-0-18-2

110-6 after 18.1 overs: Sohail Akhtar gone. Run-a-ball 14 for him but that's not enough. Maqsood with the wicket.

110-5 after 18 overs:

104-5 after 17 overs: Just a single boundary that comes off the big bat of Wiese but Akhtar, the captain, gets no joy. 

End of a brilliant spell by Umaid Asif. His figures: 4-0-18-2

Sohail Akhtar 10 (9) David Wiese 6 (5)

99-5 after 16 overs: Dunk gets a ball to be hit but sliced it and gets caught by Babar. Dunk fails again. His third straight in Karachi. Perhaps, his powers only work in Gaddafi.

David Wiese is in and he represents Lahore's last hope of a defendable total.

94-4 after 15 overs: Dunk finds a boundary but Maqsood's yorker-fest keeps the rest of the over quiet. Maqsood has given away just 13 in his 3 overs. 

Even 150 looks out of reach at this pace.

Ben Dunk 10 (12) Sohail Akhtar 7 (4)

88-4 after 14 overs: Patel (5) top edges Arshad and is caught at fine leg.

Lahore captain Sohail Akhtar is in. He 'gloves' a boundary in his first few balls.

78-3 after 13 overs: Ben Dunk 4 (6) Samit Patel 3 (6)

Timeout taken. See you in a few minutes.

72-3 after 12 overs: Massive wicket as Hafeez dances down the track and looks to clear the boundary but ends up offering a simple catch to Babar Azam at mid-off.

Babar takes the catch and stays on the ground as if saying the match is in Karachi's control now.

Samit Patel is in and Imad produces an outside edge immediately but the ball falls short of slip fielder Iftikhar, who is proving to be some sort of catch magnet at this point. 

Meanwhile, Patel and Dunk need to rebuild Lahore's innings now. They've done this before.

Ben Dunk 1 (3) Samit Patel 1 (3)

70-2 after 11 overs: Umaid and Iftikhar combine again a few balls later. This time it's Fakhar (27 off 24) who gets caught. Both Lahore openers are now gone. Playing Umaid over Parnell looks like a masterstroke now.

Ben Dunk walks in.

Ben Dunk 0 (1) Mohammad Hafeez 2 (3)

68-1 after 10.1 overs: Tamim tries again and gets caught at the deep midwicket boundary. He contributes 35 off 38. Umaid with the wicket, Iftikhar with the catch.

Mohammad Hafeez is next man in.

68-0 after 10 overs: Tamim again tries with all his might with swings on both on and off side but gets just a single boundary. 

62-0 after 9 overs: Another quiet over. Why? Because as they say in cricket parlance, the ball is not coming on to the bat.

The run-rate is just 6.89. The good news for Lahore is that they have their entire batting unit safe.

Tamim Iqbal 30 (33) Fakhar Zaman 26 (21)

59-0 after 8 overs: First expensive over. Fourteen came off it as Tamim hits a beautiful inside-out six over long-off. Fakhar cuts for a four later.

Fakhar Zaman 24 (17) Tamim Iqbal 29 (31)

45-0 after 7 overs: Another single-boundary over but at least the Qalandars haven't lost a single wicket. Runs can always be accumulated later.

Tamim Iqbal 21 (28) Fakhar Zaman 18 (14)

Off-spinner Iftikhar will be in attack next. That could give Fakhar the creeps.

37-0 after 6 overs: Tamim plays the entire over by Arshad and tries his best to find as many runs as possible in the last power play over but only a single boundary - a stylish flick - follows.

The wicket, as they say, appears to be 'double-pace'. Some balls are staying low, some are jumping up. 

30-0 after 5 overs: Maqsood with another tight over, giving nothing loose to the Lahore openers. Just 3 off it.

The miserly Arshad Iqbal, who loves it against lefties, will bowl the next over.

27-0 after 4 overs: Fakhar finds boundaries on the first two balls of Amir's new over: one a smash over mid-on, the other a product of exquisite timing behind point.

Tamim Iqbal 8 (15) Fakhar Zaman 16 (9)

17-0 after 3 overs: Waqas Maqsood also starts off with a wide but then bowls a tight line for the rest of the over.

While several of Amir's stayed low, a few of Maqsood's jumped up.

12-0 after 2 overs: Mohammad Amir starts with a wide and then gives enough room on outside off to Fakhar, who dispatches it for four. The third ball is again a wide. Amir struggling for line is a rare sight.

He comes back strong though, and after singles are exchanged, beats Fakhar outside off with a menacing delivery that moved off the deck.

Fakhar Zaman 5 (3) Tamim Iqbal 5 (9)

4-0 after 1 over: Largely tight over by Imad as you'd expect - except for one lose ball that is cut for four by Tamim.

The second over is Mohammad Amir's. He was the hero in Karachi's last match.

0-0 after 0 over: Fakhar Zaman and Tamim Iqbal have taken the crease. Imad Wasim will bowl the first over for Karachi.

Poll results are in: Lahore Qalandars are the overwhelming fan-favourites:

7:31pm: Lahore Qalandars have won the toss and decided to bat first. It's surprising as all the toss winners had favoured bowling first on the same pitch in play-offs.

They've named an unchanged line-up just as their fans wanted them to.

Karachi's Imad Wasim says he'd also have batted first had he won because the "pitch looks great".

Karachi have made one change: Wayne Parnell is dropped in favour of tall fast bowler Umaid Asif.

The change is not what their fans wanted.

Line-ups:

Lahore: Fakhar Zaman, Tamim Iqbal, Sohail Akhtar (c), Mohammad Hafeez, Ben Dunk (wk), Samit Patel, David Wiese, Muhammad Faizan, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Dilbar Hussain

Karachi: Babar Azam, Sharjeel Khan, Alex Hales, Chadwick Walton, Imad Wasim, Iftikhar Ahmed, Sherfane Rutherford, Mohammad Amir, Arshad Iqbal, Waqas Maqsood, Umaid Asif

7:27pm: We're minutes away from the toss.

6:32pm: Roughly an hour left before match toss (7:30pm) so now is when we begin our live coverage for the blockbuster final. 

Let's first begin with all the essentials and specials you can go through before the kick-off.

Match Preview: Come this way

Head-to-head record: Come this way

Lahore and Karachi's last meeting: comes this way

The magnitude of rivalry: Come this way

Karachi Kings become PSL champions with win over Lahore Qalandars in final