LAHORE: Numerous overseas cricketers have reasserted their credentials by featuring in the HBL Pakistan Super League with Luke Ronchi, player of the tournament in 2018, is the prime example.
While the coming HBL PSL is a chance to shine for many budding cricketers of Pakistan, it is also an opportunity for the visiting players to prove their worth and take their T20 careers to greater heights, according to an analysis conducted here.
There are some players who will be aiming to play a bigger role in the HBL PSL. Philip Salt (Islamabad United), The 22-year-old is a wicketkeeper/batsman from Wales who plays county cricket for Sussex. Salt was Islamabad United’s third pick in this season’s HBL PSL Player Draft mainly because of his ability to score at a brisk pace.
In England’s domestic T20 competition last year, the Welshman scored 355 runs at a stunning strike-rate of 172.33 and also hit four half-centuries. He also played three T20s for Lahore Qalandars in Abu Dhabi T20 Trophy last year in October in which his scores, while batting in the lower-order, were 37 not out, 15 and 26.
Salt has also opened the innings for Sussex and, if he does same in HBL PSL 2019, United could have the most destructive opening pair in the tournament.
Liam Livingstone (Karachi Kings), The 25-year-old captained Lancashire to the semi-final round in England’s domestic T20 competition last year, but the most glaring aspect of his performance in the tournament was his batting strike-rate. He scored 318 runs at a strike-rate of 188.16, the third highest in the competition, and also scored a 51-ball 100 against Derbyshire.
The Lancastrian was picked by Karachi Kings as one of the supplementary players but will be available for the whole tournament.
In his most recent T20 match, he handed England Lions a win against Pakistan A in Abu Dhabi. Opening the bowling with his leg-spin, Livingstone took three top-order wickets and also scored 35 not out off 19 balls.
Sandeep Lamichhane (Lahore Qalandars), The Nepalese spin wizard will be the only player from the ICC’s associate teams in the HBL PSL 2019. Such is his demand in franchise cricket that even though he made his T20 debut only 10 months ago, Lahore Qalandars will be his sixth team in the T20 leagues.
In the ongoing league in Australia, the 18-year-old has taken 11 wickets for Melbourne Stars at an average of 13.45 and an economy of just 6.83. The Qalandars will be hoping he carries this form to HBL PSL.
Since he will be playing alongside Yasir Shah, the Qalandars could have the best leg-spinning pair in HBL PSL 2019.
Laurie Evans (Multan Sultans), The 31-year-old batsman from England will feature in the HBL PSL for the first time after he was picked by Multan Sultans in the silver category.
Evans was the top run-getter in England’s domestic T20 competition with 614 runs at an average of 68.22 and a strike rate of 135.84. That helped Sussex to reach the final of the tournament.
In the past 12 months, he has scored 1,258 runs at 54.69 in T20 cricket. And as recently as last month, while playing in Bangladesh Premier League, he hit his maiden T20 century.
With Steve Smith and Nicholas Pooran not available, the Sultans will be banking on his batting expertise in the coming HBL PSL.
CRICKET PSL: Qalandars slay the Kings to win by 22 runs
DUBAI: Lahore Qalandars, that lost its first match to Islamabad, managed to register their first win of the PSL 2019 by beating Karachi Kings.
Relevant pieces published earlier:
Cricket: Sri Lanka beats South Africa
DURBAN: Kusal Perera took Sri Lanka to a sensational one-wicket win on the fourth day of the first Test against South Africa at Kingsmead on Saturday.
Perera hit a career-best 153 not out as he and Vishwa Fernando put on an unbeaten 78 in a last-wicket partnership that enabled Sri Lanka to secure only their second win in 14 Test matches in South Africa. Victory seemed unlikely when the ninth wicket fell with the total on 226, with the tourists chasing a target of 304. But the left-handed Perera successfully farmed the strike, with South African captain Faf du Plessis persisting with defensive fields for the in-form batsman, while Fernando only had to face 27 balls during a 96-ball partnership. South Africa took the second new ball with the total on 263 but still kept most of their fielders on the boundary for Perera, who hit sixes off both Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada before slashing Rabada to the third man for the winning boundary.
PSL 4: Multan Sultans field against Islamabad United
DUBAI: Multan Sultans won the toss and elected to field first against Islamabad United, on Saturday during the fourth edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Dubai.
This will be the second match for both of them as Islamabad won their first match by 5 wickets against Lahore Qalandars while Multan were defeated by just 7 runs against Karachi Kings.
Both Islamabad and Multan have balanced sides but the former have an edge with a victory in their first match.
United the defending champions led by fast bowler Mohammad Sami.
However, Multan is being captained by veteran all-rounder and former Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik who hit an aggressive fifty against Karachi Kings on Friday.