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A statistical first week’s round-up of HBL PSL 2020


The HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 has gotten off to a tremendous start as high-quality cricket has kept fans at the edge of their seats.

This year’s edition, which is the first instance of the league being played in Pakistan, has produced some riveting contests. The teams are fighting tooth and nail to make an impression in front of the home crowds. Just a week into the tournament, the fans have been treated with thrilling last over finishes and excellent individual performances anchoring wins.

Statistician Mazher Arshad recaps the first week of the tournament.

Overseas players in HBL PSLV

A total of 38 foreign players are part of the HBL PSL this year with the largest contingent coming from the United Kingdom.

There are 14 players from England, including the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 winners Jason Roy and Moeen Ali, and one, Phil Salt, from Wales.

HBL PSL 2020 also has the services of seven players from South Africa, six from West Indies, five from Australia, three from New Zealand and one each from Sri Lanka and US. Some notable signings for this season are Carlos Brathwaite, Daren Sammy, Kieron Pollard, Ravi Bopara (all T20 World Cup winners), Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Chris Lynn, Colin Munro, Dale Steyn and Shane Watson. Pollard and Steyn will join their teams in the coming weeks.

Wicket off first ball

HBL PSL 2020 started with a wicket off the first ball of the tournament as Quetta Gladiators’ Mohammad Nawaz caught and bowled Islamabad United opener Colin Munro. The start of this edition was in complete contrast with the previous edition which was kicked off with a boundary by Fakhar Zaman off the first ball bowled by Mohammad Sami. The 2017 edition’s first ball was also a wicket.

It was third time in HBL PSL that Quetta Gladiators took a wicket off the first ball of the match after having done it against Islamabad in 2019 and against Multan Sultans in 2018. No other bowling team in the tournament has started the match with a wicket on more than one occasion.

Openers born on the same day

Lahore Qalandars opening pair Chris Lynn and Fakhar Zaman were born on the same day – April 10, 1990. Fakhar was born in Mardan, Pakistan, while Lynn was born in Brisbane, Australia.

Except the Marshall, who are twin brothers, (Hamish and James) who opened for Northern District in 2009, Fakhar-Lynn is the only third opening pair in T20s to share birthday.

Interestingly, the other two pairs also opened the batting in Pakistan’s domestic cricket – Usman Maroof & Raja Naeem (for Azad Jammu and Kashmir) and Sami Aslam & Imam-ul-Haq (for Lahore Blues) in the National T20 tournament in Rawalpindi in 2015.

One wicket victory

Islamabad United clinched a thriller against Lahore Qalandars by one wicket chasing a target of 183 at the Gaddafi Stadium. It was only the second time a team won by one wicket in HBL PSL.

The last time, in Sharjah in the 2017 edition, United were at the receiving end when Qalandars secured one-wicket win, in a match which is widely remembered by Grant Elliott’s bat-drop celebration.

Such wins, however, are extremely rare in T20 cricket. In fact, chances of teams winning in T20s by one wicket are even less than 1 percent.

United’s victory was only 53rd one-wicket win in 8804 T20 matches which amounts to only 0.60 per cent.

20 runs stand for the last wicket

Islamabad United won the game against Lahore Qalandars by one wicket after a 20-run stand between the debutant Ahmed Safi Abdullah and Musa Khan.

It is the highest tenth-wicket partnership in a successful chase in any T20 league and fourth-highest in the history of T20 cricket.

The previous record in T20 leagues was 15 runs between Nono Pongolo and Duanne Olivier in Jozi Stars’ one-wicket win against Durban Heat in a Mzansi Super League match in Durban 2018.

Centuries in HBL PSL

Peshawar Zalmi batsman Kamran Akmal’s 101 against Quetta Gladiators in Karachi this week was the sixth century in HBL PSL and third from Kamran’s bat.

While Kamran has three centuries in the tournament, no one else has more than one.

Akmal’s previous two centuries were: 104 against Lahore in Sharjah in 2018 and against Karachi Kings in Dubai in 2017. Colin Ingram, Cameron Delport and Sharjeel Khan (one each) have scored the remaining three centuries in HBL PSL.

First to 50 matches

Kamran Akmal’s appearance against Multan Sultans made him the first player in HBL PSL to feature in 50 games.

It was also Peshawar Zalmi’s 50th match in the tournament which means the franchise has never played a game without Kamran.

His teammates Daren Sammy and Wahab Riaz (48 matches each) are next in the list of most capped players. Among non-Zalmi players, the highest capped players are Quetta Gladiators’s Sarfaraz Ahmed and Mohammad Nawaz (47 games each).

The HBL PSL goes big

HBL PSL now has been expanded to four venues in Pakistan and seven in the world with the addition of Multan Cricket Stadium and Pindi Cricket Stadium this week. Both venues hosted their maiden games in front of a full house. Prior to that only Lahore and Karachi had hosted HBL PSL in Pakistan. The three venues outside the country to host the tournament are Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.

The average totals

One of the highlights of the tournament this season has been the quality of pitches.

The average first innings total in nine games played in the first week of the tournament is 163, the highest in any edition of the tournament.

In 2019, the average first innings total was 157. In the preceding seasons, it was 152 in 2018, 154 in 2017 and 148 in 2016.

The overall run-rate this year so far is 8.63, which is also the highest for any edition of the tournament and 0.65 more than the previous highest (7.98 in the 2019 edition).

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