With HBL PSL season 5 just around the corner and batsmen from the last edition geared up to hog the limelight again, let's take a look at the list of top batsmen from the last season and watch their innings' highlights.
Quetta Gladiators were crowned PSL 4 champions after an epic battle against Peshwar Zalmi in the final. Shane Watson was awarded player of the tournament for his spectacular performances with the bat.
The top-flight cricketer of Quetta Gladiators, Shane Watson, has had phenomenal seasons in the PSL and last year his penchant for scoring big runs was conspicuous.
He amassed a record 438 runs at a ballistic strike rate of 143.8 and ended the season with an average of 43. Watson represented Islamabad United for two seasons before joining Quetta. The Australian cricketer, amidst security concerns, travelled to Pakistan and featured in eight matches of PSL 4 in Karachi.
'It's been 14 years since I last visited Pakistan, a place with some of the most passionate fans in world cricket. Can't wait to give it our best shot in bringing home the trophy with Quetta Gladiators," said Watson before arriving in Pakistan in 2019.
Watson blazed to 91 off 55 balls in the match against Peshawar Zalmi that helped Quetta coast home comfortably and they also found a spot in the playoffs largely due to Watson's efforts. He knitted a 129-run partnership with opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad and put the game to bed.
Thereafter in the qualifier against familiar opposition ,Peshawar, Watson delivered the sucker punch by bowling the death over against Zalmi as he defended 22 runs and before that he scored a valiant half-century with the bat that helped Quetta storm into the final.
PSL has been Kamran Akmal's favourite stage; he has scored a truckload of runs in all seasons and 2019 wasn't any different. He has amassed the most number of runs since the inaugural edition but he stumbled early on in the PSL 4 and then went ballistic with the bat and scored three stunning fifties, accumulated 357 runs at a swift strike rate of 137.8.
He also took nine catches behind the stumps. Kamran entertained the crowd royally by slamming 74 off 43 in the eliminator game against Islamabad United and that crucial knock helped Peshawar Zalmi book final beth.
The sturdy batter from South Africa, Colin Ingram lit up the National Stadium, Karachi in front of a sellout crowd with a blitzkrieg unbeaten knock of 127* that brought the tournament to life. He cleared the boundary ropes on eight occasions and also plonked a dozen boundaries. It was the highest individual score by any batsman in PSL.
He took on the rookie pacer Ghulam Mudassar and hit a towering six over long-off that went miles in the air and landed at the top tier causing delirium in the stands. Ingram came in as an opener and finished the game with a coruscating six off Anwar Ali.
It was one exceptional batting display and the Proteas finest cricketer piled up 344 runs at a strike rate of 164.59 in the last PSL. The win came when Karachi was in tatters and they redeemed themselves courtesy of Ingram's heroics.
Mr 360 played only seven matches in the UAE leg of the PSL 4 and didn't travel to Pakistan owing to a back injury but he made an invaluable contribution to Lahore Qalandars and formed the spine of the otherwise rudderless middle order that didn't have the services of Mohammad Hafeez.
De Villiers' standout performance was seen in the match against Multan Sultans where his 52 off 29 deliveries helped Lahore chase down the mammoth total of 201 in Sharjah. The quintessential limited-overs batsman finished the tournament with a total of 218 runs which he scored at an average of 54.50 and with a blistering strike rate of 128.99.
Umar Akmal had a successful run with Lahore Qalandars in PSL 4. He looked switched on and located his mojo as he conjured dazzling performances which were a total contrast to his shoddy comebacks for the national team of late.
Not only did he amassed 277 runs at an average of 34.62 but also scored these runs at a rapid strike rate. His superb 76 off 50 steered Quetta to win against Peshawar Zalmi. Consistent performances resulted in a recall to Pakistan's ODI squad following last year's PSL as he made an impression on the selectors.
Umar edged out Cameron Delport in the top five list as the swashbuckling British-South African batsman thumped the fastest PSL hundred while representing Islamabad and he just consumed 49 deliveries to achieve the milestone against Lahore.
Umar was all praise for Quetta's management after finishing the season on a high and said: “Quetta had a better and professional management team as compared to Lahore. Doing proper homework, they gave us a clear plan about the role of the local players."