Islamabad United emerge as first champions of PSL

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Islamabad United has won final of Pakistan Super League (PSL) beating Quetta Gladiators with six wickets in the final match at Dubai. Quetta Gladiators scored 174 runs for the loss of seven wickets in stipulated twenty overs.

After a spectacular display of fireworks lit up the start of the final of the inaugural Pakistan Super League in Dubai, Dwayne Smith produced the cricketing equivalent of it, firing Islamabad United to the title. He struck 73 off 51 balls, 52 of them through boundaries. Smith’s effort came after Quetta Gladiators had put up a challenging 174 with fluent half-centuries from Ahmed Shehzad and Kumar Sangakkara. Islamabad captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who had termed the PSL almost like a “World Cup” at the toss, sealed the victory with a flick past midwicket and sparked off wild celebrations.

Man of the Match, Dwayne Smith said, “It was a good pitch and I said to myself just go there and back you.”

‘One hundred seventy-five is a big target in the final under pressure. We didn’t want to lose a lot of wickets inside the first ten overs. The bowlers also did well to restrict Quetta as they looked to go past 200 at a point and team played professionally’ said Misbah in the interview.

“We wanted the PSL to happen for the last three years and we knew that it will be a hit. PSL chairman Najam Sethi and the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) efforts are commendable” Misbah added.

With the victory, Islamabad bagged a $500,000 winning purse and the coveted ‘Shooting Star’ trophy.

Quetta captain Sarfraz Ahmed said: “Heartiest congratulations to Islamabad United for the win. We put up a good score on the board but it was their day.” Quetta will take home a winning prize of $200,000 as the runner-ups.

Islamabad coach Wasim Akram said, ‘I want to thank people back in Pakistan, especially my family. And thanks to Dean Jones, he’s been really good and a great mentor. Initially, everyone thought T20 was a young man’s game but the way Smith and Haddin have played through the tournament was amazing.’

PSL chairman Najam Sethi, speaking at the occasion, said, ‘Winning and losing is a part of game. The world is watching that Pakistan is a peaceful country. Pakistan has shown today that they can do anything in the world. I promise you that we will take this PSL to Pakistan with more effort and hard work.’

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has congratulated Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on successful arrangements and also extended his heartfelt congratulations to all participating players and teams for playing throughout the tournament.

Islamabad United team cheering after winning final of first ever Pakistan Super League against Quetta Gladiators
Islamabad United team cheering after winning final of first ever Pakistan Super League against Quetta Gladiators.

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