The 2017 Pakistan Super League went out in style on Sunday night with the return of international significant cricket returning to Pakistan after a decade’s absence.
It brought to a close the second edition of the tournament, one littered with spot fixing scandals, remarkable finishes, the emergence of remarkable young Pakistan players and an enormous amount of Darren Sammy selfies.
In the three weeks of the tournament, PSL 2017 had a little bit of everything.
And, here, Sport360’s Barnaby Read hands out his awards for the players and people that made this year’s edition so entertaining.
Make sure you share with us your thoughts on PSL II and your abiding memories of the league by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.
Karachi Kings vs Lahore Qalandars (Game 18)
This year’s PSL wasn’t short of dramatic finishes with 12 matches going to the last over, but this one took the biscuit.
In pursuit of 156, Karachi looked dead and buried when Kieron Pollard entered the scene with 53 required from 28 balls and then 28 from 12 and 14 from six.
And with two balls left, there were still 10 runs needed, which seemed a mammoth ask but was nothing for the West Indian as he launched two sixes from the final two balls to keep his side in the tournament.
Kevin Pietersen [88*] vs Lahore Qalandars (Game 11)
This was vintage Kevin Pietersen, the former England man battering the Lahore attack to lead his side to a successful chase of 201 in Sharjah.
After a run of two golden ducks in succession, Pietersen came out in a blaze of boundaries, smashing 88 from 42 balls and hitting three fours and an incredible eight sixes.
It was brutal, brilliant and beautiful.
BEST BOWLING PERFORMANCE
KARACHI KINGS TRIO vs Islamabad United (2nd Qualifying Final)
There were a number of individual standout moments with the ball throughout the tournament, including the last over heroics of Mohammad Sami and Mohammad Nawaz, but this was an attack operating as a highly skilled unit.
Defending just 126 against the reigning champions was no easy task but Karachi made it look that way as they bowled Islamabad out for just 82.
Mohammad Amir (3-7), Imad Wasim (3-18), Usama Mir (3-24), Sohail Khan (1-21) and even Usman Khan (0-11) were each superb.
Pakistan cricket fans
Yeah, Peshawar Zalmi won the tournament but the true winners of the PSL were the fans that got to see the final in Lahore.
The game wasn’t the spectacle they hoped after Quetta was forced to change their foreign contingent but that barely mattered.
What did was that the final took place in Pakistan and that those fans in attendance, and the players, were provided a safe environment to watch and play cricket.
Kamran Akmal (Peshawar Zalmi)
It was quite the tournament for Akmal, who ended up the highest run-scorer after a highly productive month.
It has put him back in the reckoning for the international side, aided by the suspensions of Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif.
Quite the renaissance from Akmal.
Darren Sammy (Peshawar Zalmi)
If you want to win a T20 competition then having Darren Sammy in your side improves those chances ten-fold… and then some.
He wasn’t at his best with bat and ball but his runs in the final showed just what he is capable of and how he loves the big occasion.
But how he won the hearts over of the Pakistan public and united his team will live long in the memory.
BEST EMERGING PLAYER
Shadab Khan (Islamabad United)
A real highlight of the tournament were the times the various emerging players outperformed their elders and Shadab did this frequently.
His leg-spin is a thing of beauty, bowled at times as if it is an off-spinner, while his googly seemed to have a homing device on the stumps.
An absolutely brilliant natural talent, Shadab will find himself in the Pakistan setup sooner rather than later.
Rayad Emrit (Quetta Gladiators)
Drafted in for the final, Emrit must be applauded for taking the plunge in Lahore.
And he did well, taking 3-30 with the ball, a real positive in his side’s otherwise lacklustre performance.
But his half blonde dyed Mohawk was easily the best thing he brought to the PSL.
Chris Gayle (Karachi Kings) on going to Lahore for the final
Well if you’re taking me I’ll come with you. Invite me, man. No, you invite me and then you might see me. Let me know when you want to see me.
Kai Kai Quetta by Faakhir and Faheem Alan Faqeer
Now this was a difficult one to choose, considering the rich variety of team songs.
But this beauty from Quetta wins out for its lively horns, catchy hook and all-round fun.
Add to that the incredible videos including miming, dancing cricketers and you’re on to an absolute winner.
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