The PSL Final at Lahore turned out to be a resounding success as thousands of cricket-hungry fans thronged the Gaddafi Stadium to watch Peshawar Zalmi beat Quetta Gladiators by 58 runs. This was the second time that Quetta Gladiators have ended up on the wrong side of the score card in a final. Darren Sammy was the man of the match and the star of the match as he captained Peshawar in the absence of Shahid Afridi.
Peshawar batted first and raced to 41 in the first four overs. It was only when Quetta Gladiators captain Sarfraz Ahmed brought in the spinners that the run rate slowed down and the wickets started to fall. In the end, they managed to put up 148 runs. It was a competitive total on a pitch that was clearly not easy to bat on.
As it turned out, it was too much for the Gladiators. While Zalmi milked the runs in the first four overs, the Gladiators lost four wickets and scored just 13. The slide never stopped and by the time the 13th over was bowled, Quetta were 72/7. They added just 18 more runs in the next four overs and were bundled out for just 90 runs in 16.3 overs. But, as Sammy said later, cricket seemed to be the winner as the sport returned to Pakistan to a raucous response.
Here are a few reactions to the match:
Must be a very happy feeling for Pakistan cricket fans. Fans are the ones who miss out the most. May peace prevail.#PslFinalLahore
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) 5 March 2017
— Damien Martyn (@damienmartyn) 5 March 2017
Well done Sammy and the crew you guys truly deserved it
My congrats to people of Pakistan & PCB & security agencies you made us proud….
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) 5 March 2017
Thanks for an amazing tournament… was great to be in Lahore.. https://t.co/qOH8bIs8jH
— Daren Sammy (@darrensammy88) 5 March 2017
— Javeria Khan (@ImJaveria) 5 March 2017
The elaborate security arrangements that were in place for the match seem to have done the trick and the PCB’s bid to host a major nation once again in Pakistan got a shot in the arm.