Pakistan Super League: Peshawar Zalmi beat Quetta Gladiators to clinch title

A colorful inaugural ceremony for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2017 final has kicked off with stadium full of cricket fans roaring slogan of "Pakistan Zindabad"(long live Pakistan).

The historic 2017 PSL championship final match is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Pakistan Standard Time at Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan, on Sunday, March 5.

While talking to a newspaper in Lahore, Shehzad said that though he was aware that the Quetta Gladiators are still being considered the underdogs against Peshawar Zalmi, "Nobody had wanted to rate [the team] as a possible finalist when the Quetta Gladiators were first put together".

Captain Darren Sammy's little cameo of 28 off 11 deliveries helped Peshawar reach 148 runs in 20 overs.

Peshawar looked ready for the occasion from ball one - which Akmal smashed for four - with the openers making up for the horror start in the first playoff loss to Quetta Gladiators.

His compatriot Chigumbura, who also participated in the tournament's inaugural edition past year, was equally excited and talked about how jam-packed the stadium was when he last played for Zimbabwe against Pakistan in Lahore.

"We are anxiously waiting for "Sammy's Peshawari Dance".

Wahab Riaz sent Saad Naseem back to the pavilion to make it five for 37 in eighth over.

But Quetta managed to convince Rayad Emrit of West Indies, Anamul Haque of Bangladesh, South African Morne van Wyk and Zimbabwe's Elton Chigumbura and Sean Ervine to play in the final. Mohammad Nawaz conceded just 15 runs off his four overs, taking one wicket. "It will send a positive message to the world and will bring back global cricket to the country", he said. It was the highest-level game in Pakistan since a 2009 assault on the Sri Lanka team bus outside Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium killed six people and wounded several players.

Former Australian batsman Dean Jones, who was the head coach of Islamabad United in the tournament, is in Lahore as TV commentator. Pakistan has been starved of global cricket, apart from a short visit by the Zimbabwe in 2015.

There had been much debate and criticism about hosting the PSL final in Pakistan and some of that made sense but one can not deny the fact that the tournament had brought huge happiness to the mundane lives of many. Marlon Samuels, who has had a great record in T20 finals, added 40 runs with Kamran before he fell for 19.

"The game's electric, the standard of cricket has been good".

  • Leroy Wright