Pakistan bowlers hogged the limelight among overseas players in the last edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL). Hasan Ali took the most number of wickets (25), followed by Faheem Ashraf, who bagged 21 while deck-hitting enforcer Wahab Riaz shed 17 wickets.
Left-arm spinner Umer Khan and veteran swing bowler Sohail Tanvir got 15 wickets each while there was a plethora of bowlers who got 13 wickets including the likes of Mohammad Amir and Usman Shinwari.
Also, there were quite a few spectacular individual performances; the hat-trick from veteran Mohammad Sami and Shinwari's epic last over against Quetta where he defended five runs were some of the truly top-drawer performances!
Faheem Ashraf knows how to strangle the batsman as he bowls at a nagging line and length and when he is at the top of his game, he seldom gives away any width to a batsman to pounce on.
His best bowling performance in PSL 4 was seen against Qalandars where he shellshocked the much talked about franchise by taking 6/19 at an economy of 4.75.
He continued his heroics from 2018 season and showed his dexterity in PSL 4 and the 26-year-old is all set to live up to billing for Islamabad United in the upcoming home season.
The former number one ranked ODI bowler showed his bag of tricks in no uncertain terms for Zalmi. He took 4/15 against Qalandars, 4/15 versus Kings and 4/17 versus Sultans and remained an unstoppable bowling juggernaut.
That being said, he has been undergoing a long rehab after the knee injury in the World Cup 2019 and it remains to be seen if he will be able to deliver the goods in PSL 5.
Against Qalandars, he didn't let Fakhar Zaman get off to a flying start, he got the better of Sohail Akhtar and even, Mr 360, AB de Villiers alongside Brendan Taylor couldn't handle the supernovas hurled by Hasan. Lahore were left reeling at 39/4 at the end of the powerplay in match seven.
Hasan was the pick of the bowlers in the 14th match against Multans where he trapped James Vince off a brute of a delivery that jagged back on a length and outfoxed England middle-order bat. Thereafter, Hasan triggered a collapse by outsmarting Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi and Hammad Azam, who all had no answer to Hasan's probing deliveries.
Fast bowlers dominated the proceedings in the last PSL but there was one canny slow left-arm orthodox wizard who had a fairy tale start to his career and he made headlines by removing AB de Villiers on the second bowl of his over.
He showed marvellous control with the ball and flummoxed batsmen through subtle variations that earned him prized wickets of Shane Watson, James Vince, Rilee Rossouw and Umar Akmal. He was adjudicated emerging player of the tournament and was tipped by experts to represent Pakistan soon after his PSL debut but the opportunity hasn't arrived yet.
Solid performances in the upcoming season could help him push his case forward for finding a spot in the national team. The then Pakistan coach, Mickey Arthur was greatly impressed by Umer and so was Rashid Latif. Shoaib Akhtar also went gaga over the skilful spinner. Umer removed big fish on regular occasions. In the 24th match against Multan Sultans, he got the seasoned campaigner Shoaib Malik and Dan Christian early in the piece.
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There is nothing that excites Pakistan fans more than raw pace. Wahab knows how to crank up the speed in a jiffy and cramp batsmen for room.
After falling down the pecking order, the left-arm speedster was keen on persuading the selectors for a return to the national team and he got his wish in the World Cup 2019. Wahab gave it all to make a strong case for international return. Zalmi' stalwart has been the boss among bowlers as he has picked up a record 65 wickets altogether in PSL.
The popularizer of T20 cricket all over the globe, Sohail Tanvir, rarely fails to impress in glitzy T20 leagues and that was the case in the PSL 4 as well. Tanvir's best performance was delivered against Islamabad United where he snapped up four wickets and gave away only 21 runs.
He triggered a mistimed shot to point from Luke Ronchi - the batsman on which Islamabad United's batting hinges. Shadab Khan was promoted up in the order and he smashed the ball hard back to Tanvir, who pouched a stunning caught and bowl. Asif Ali got holed out to deep square where Mohammad Nawaz gobbled a sharp low catch and the ageing warrior's last prey was Wayne Parnell who miscued a shot to long-off.
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