Lahore Qalandars win the toss, opt to bat in PSL V ‘dream final’ against Karachi Kings

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Lahore Qalandars have won the toss and decided to bat first against Karachi Kings in the much-awaited finale of the 2020 Pakistan Super League at the Karachi National Stadium.

The final is being played after a gap of nearly eight months after the PSL’s fifth edition came to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The way our momentum has been built up and the positive cricket we are playing means we’re confident of putting up a good show,” said Qalandars’ skipper Sohail Akhtar after winning the toss.

Karachi Kings captain Imad Wasim said: “We’ll just have to be at our best and hold our nerve. This is just cricket, not war, and we have to trust our process.”

On Monday, Wasim had noted what makes this PSL final stand apart. “Dream final has been talk of the town even before the playoffs began, and here we are about to realise that dream of not our two teams but the huge following from every nook and corner.”

The most alluring aspect of PSL is that each edition had provided different matchups in the title-decider, meaning no two same sides have confronted each other for the trophy in any of the five seasons. Two-time champions Islamabad United upstaged Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi, respectively, in the finals of 2016 and 2018; Peshawar prevailed over a depleted Quetta to be crowned winners in 2017 before Quetta exacted sweet revenge by defeating Peshawar in the 2019 finale.

But this will be the biggest final in terms of rivalry because both Karachi and Lahore have a rich history on sporting fronts over the years at the domestic level, particularly in the period from the 1960s onward until the late 1990s.

Teams:

KARACHI KINGS: Imad Wasim (captain), Babar Azam, Sharjeel Khan, Alex Hales, Iftikhar Ahmed, Chadwick Walton, Sherfane Rutherford, Wayne Parnell, Mohammad Amir, Waqas Maqsood, Arshad Iqbal, Cameron Delport, Mohammad Rizwan, Umaid Asif, Usama Mir, Awais Zia, Aamir Yamin, Umar Khan.

LAHORE QALANDARS: Sohail Akhtar (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Hafeez, Ben Dunk, Samit Patel, David Wiese, Mohammad Faizan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Dilbar Hussain, Haris Rauf, Usman Khan Shinwari, Abid Ali, Farzan Raja, David Vilas, Maaz Khan, Jaahid Ali, Salman Irshad.