The UAE leg of the 2019 Pakistan Super League (PSL) has drawn to a close after three weeks of high octane T20 action in the Gulf nation.
Plenty of batsmen including AB de Villiers have entertained with some sparkling cameos while the bowling has once again been of the highest quality.
As the PSL action gets ready to move to Karachi, we take a look at the top five Pakistan performers from recent weeks.
HARIS RAUF (LAHORE QALANDARS)
Matches – 8
Wickets – 11
The pacer was earmarked as one to watch before the start of the tournament but even he in his wildest dreams would not have imagined the kind of impact he has been able to create for the Lahore Qalandars.
Having come through the franchise’s development programme after being scouted through a talent hunt, Rauf has turned heads with his searing pace and wicket-taking abilities in his maiden campaign.
The right-armed pacer has picked up 11 wickets in eight matches at an average of 18 and an economy-rate below seven. His standout display came against Karachi Kings where his 4-23 helped Lahore defend a score of 138.
With speeds consistently above 145kmph, Rauf is certainly carving a name for himself and should be bound for greater things in the future.
SOHAIL TANVIR (QUETTA GLADIATORS)
Matches – 9
Wickets – 14
It is Quetta Gladiators who have emerged as the team to beat in the 2019 PSL with Sarfraz Ahmed and his men becoming the first side to book their place in the play-offs.
It has been Sohail Tanvir who has been leading Quetta’s charge with the veteran pacer turning back the clock with a highly consistent campaign.
The 34-year-old’s 14 wickets have come at an average of just 15.64 and an economy-rate of only 6.25. Tanvir was way below his best in 2018 when he picked up just seven wickets in 10 matches but has been near unstoppable this campaign where he is second only to Hasan Ali with the ball.
The former Pakistan international’s best display so far came against Islamabad United where his 4-21 paved the way for a seven-wicket Quetta win.
FAHEEM ASHRAF (ISLAMABAD UNITED)
Matches – 9
Wickets – 13
It has been a mixed campaign so far for defending champions Islamabad United but Faheem Ashraf has been a bright spark. The Pakistan all-rounder has in fact been the best bowler for the side and has outperformed his international team-mate Shadab Khan.
Faheem’s 13 wickets so far have come at an average of 18 and a strike-rate just under 15. He has been the match winner for his side on two separate occasions with excellent displays against Lahore Qalandars and Karachi Kings.
With the bat, the all-rounder has mustered just 81 runs so far but that has largely to do with him coming much lower down the order than expected. His improved bowling contributions will delight the Pakistan management ahead of the World Cup and he remains key to Islamabad’s hopes in the remaining matches.
SHOAIB MALIK (MULTAN SULTANS)
Matches – 9
Runs – 266
Multan Sultans have suffered the ignominy of being the first team to be eliminated from play-off contention but take nothing away from skipper Shoaib Malik. The veteran batsman is the leading run-scorer in the tournament when it comes to Pakistan players with 266 runs to his name.
Malik is averaging over 44 with a strike-rate of 116 and has struck as many as nine sixes overall.
The experienced campaigner has been a cut above his fellow countrymen with the bat and continues to show why he is so highly regarded in the limited-overs formats.
The 37-year-old has led from the front for his franchise. Sadly, the rest of Multan’s batsmen have failed to take his cue.
HASAN ALI (PESHAWAR ZALMI)
Matches – 9
Wickets – 18
In a tournament where bowlers have dominated so far, none have been able to come close to the consistency shown by Hasan Ali. The Peshawar Zalmi pacer is leading the wicket-taking column by some distance and is averaging exactly two wickets per match.
The Pakistan international’s 18 wickets have come at an astonishing strike-rate of less than 12 and an economy-rate of just over six. Ali’s prolific campaign has been the cornerstone of Peshawar’s march up the table with the franchise banking on their bowling strength.
The 24-year-old has already picked up four-wicket hauls twice in the campaign so far and looks set to finish the season as the highest wicket-taker.
It was the PSL where the pacer announced himself as a future Pakistan international and he is taking his displays to another level in the 2019 edition.
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