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Five Battles to look out in the HBL PSLV Grand Finale

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Image Courtesy : Pakistan Cricket Board

Lahore vs Karachi rivalry is of ages. Be it sports, food and anything else, you would always find the people of these two cities battling to prove their city better. But this time around, the responsibility of proving the superiority of either city is upon their teams. When on tuesday, Lahore Qalandars and Karachi Kings will come out to battle for the HBL PSL V trophy, it will be more than just a match for the fans of the biggest cities of Pakistan. Whenever, these two teams meet in the HBL PSL, just like fans the players also feel the heat of this match. They also try to perform better in these encounters. Here we will take a look on the Battles within the Battle in HBL PSLV finale.

Babar Azam vs Shaheen Shah Afridi :

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Image Courtesy : Pakistan Cricket Board

Unarguably the best batsman of HBL PSLV against the best bowler of HBL PSLV, Babar Azam and Shaheen Shah Afridi, the battle every Pakistani cricketing fan would love to see. Performance of both these players will play a huge role in their side’s triumph in HBL PSLV final. Although, when the last time both these players face each other, Babar Azam had the better of Shaheen Shah Afridi as the former hit Shaheen for 3 boundaries in the space of 5 balls on his way to an unbeaten 69 off 46 in his side’s 10 wicket victory over Lahore at National Stadium, Karachi. Shaheen Shah Afridi also had a rare bad outing in the HBL PSLV, largely due to the domination of Babar who hit him for the 5 boundaries in his 4 overs spell. Shaheen Shah Afridi ended the match with the figures of 4-0-37-0.

This time when both players will face each other in the all important final, Shaheen Shah Afridi will definitely want to get the prize wicket of Babar Azam and give his side Lahore Qalandars best chance to win. While Babar Azam will also want to dominate Lahore Qalandar’s best bowler and damage Lahore Qalandar’s morale in the match.

Fakhar Zaman vs Mohammad Amir :

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Image Courtesy : Pakistan Cricket Board

The aggressive left handed opening batsman of Lahore Qalandars, Fakhar Zaman vs the new ball strike bowler of Karachi Kings, Mohammar Amir. This battle will pretty much set up the tone of the match. Fakhar Zaman is someone who likes to play freely and dominate the bowlers specially in first 6 overs while Mohammad Amir is famous to take early wickets for his side Karachi Kings. It will be one of the most important battle within the battle of Final. Fakhar Zaman would like to take on the Karachi Kings best fast bowler while Mohammad Amir will try to get the better of Fakhar Zaman to stop the flow of runs in the first power play of Lahore Qalandar’s innings.

Fans of Lahore Qalandars has a huge faith in Fakhar Zaman’s ability to perform in the tournament finals as he helped Pakistan win Champions Trophy, 2017 and Tri-nation T20I series 2018 with his crucial knocks of 114 & 91, while the fans of Karachi kings would expect Mohammad Amir to repeat his CT 2017 finals heroics in tuesday’s final. We would love to see who would repeat his performance in the HBL PSLV final.

Ben Dunk vs Imad Wasim :

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Ben Dunk, the Chewing gum guy from Australia made everyone speechless with his six hitting ability 8 months ago, against the same opposition at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore. Ben Dunk played a blistering knock of 99* off just 40 balls as he helped Lahore Qalandars to chase down their highest successful run chase of 188 in 19.1 overs. Ben Dunk yielded 84 runs off boundaries which included 3 fours and 12 monstrous sixes. Among all the Karachi Kings bowlers who were intimidated by Ben Dunk that day, captain of Karachi Kings, Imad Wasim was on top. Imad Wasim coming into bowl the 16th over of the chase got hit for 3 gigantic sixes and a four as he conceded 23 runs in a single over against Ben Dunk and made things possible for Lahore Qalandars.

While everyone know the love of Ben Dunk for the left arm spinners and with Imad Wasim being the leading spinner of Karachi Kings as well as their captain, the contest between these two in the middle overs of the match can be game changing for both sides. So, Lahore fans would love to see Ben Dunk increasing his tally of sixes in HBL PSLV while Karachi fans would hope to see Imad Wasim taking the revenge from Ben Dunk in the most important match of the tournament. It will be interesting to see who will come on top in this battle.

Alex Hales vs Haris Rauf :

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Image Courtesy : Pakistan Cricket Board

The hard hitting top order batsman from England, Alex Hales loves to take on the bowling while one of the fastest bowler in this year’s HBL PSL, Haris Rauf have a wonderful ability to execute perfect yorkers and pick crucial wickets for his side Lahore Qalandars. Alex Hales will bat at No.3 for Karachi Kings in the final while his batting in the middle overs will be vital for Karachi Kings and his ability to take the match away from the opposition is known to all. While, Haris Rauf usually performs the duty of middle overs bowler for Lahore Qalandars. There is a big possibility that these two superb individuals will face each other in HBL PSLV finals.

When Alex Hales will face Haris Rauf, he will definitely think of scoring quick runs against the Lahore’s Qalandars fastest bowler. While Lahore Qalandar’s team will want to see the back of experienced Alex Hales as early as possible, for that job Haris Rauf will be the perfect man for them. We will definitely want to see who will win the battle of the experienced English batsman Alex Hales and Pakistan’s rising fast bowler Haris rauf.

David Wiese vs Arshad Iqbal :

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David Wiese, a tall man from South Africa has filled the slot of a finisher for Lahore Qalandars in HBL PSLV, his ability to hit the ball long and far has definitely help the Qalandars to reach the HBL PSLV finals. His sparkling innings of 48* off just 21 balls against Multan Sultans in Eliminator-2 helped Lahore set a huge total of 182-6 and qualify for their first ever HBL PSL final. He has been one of the most cleanest hitters of HBL PSLV. While among the young cricketers who have risen in HBL PSLV, one of them is Arshad Iqbal, the 19 years old right arm fast bowler from Swabi, Pakistan. Arshad Iqbal has bowled some wonderful spells for Karachi Kings throughout the HBL PSLV and accounted for many big scalps for his side. Arshad Iqbal has shown a tremendous ability to bowl at any stage of the innings.

While Karachi Kings having no death overs specialist in their bowling line-up except Mohammad Amir, Karachi would definitely look at Arshad Iqbal to bowl those critical death overs and pick the precious wicket of David Wiese. Simultaneously, Lahore Qalandars will once again want David Wiese to excel in the death overs of Lahore Qalandar’s innings to increase their chances in the HBL PSLV final. This battle will definitely have a huge impact on the outcome of HBL PSLV final.

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Although, it doesn’t matter whoever comes out as the victorious in HBLPSLV final but the people of Pakistan will definitely win tomorrow as Pakistanis will fulfill their dream to host the entire HBL PSL in Pakistan for the very first time in 5 editions. We wish the both finalist teams all the very best for the biggest match of the tournament for the crown of Pakistan Super League!

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