PSL, the long awaited cricket league has finally begun with a bang. The opening match was between the defending champions: Quetta gladiators and the two times PSL winners: Islamabad United. It was a thrilling match which had the crowd cheering from beginning till the end.
Defending champions, Quetta Gladiators, emerged victors against Islamabad United by three wickets in the opening match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020. Azam Khan (son of coach Moin Khan) stole the spotlight with his commendable batting. When it was revealed that he would be playing for Quetta gladiators, he was being bullied and body shamed. People called him “Aloo” and “Parchi” and were bashing the decision to select him.
Azam Khan (son of Quetta coach Moin Khan) stats in domestic:
8 One Day matches average 13.25.
Since Nov 2018 he has played ONE domestic match and that was in the PSL.
— Down The Ground (@downthegroundtw) February 18, 2020
Soon after the beginning of the match, it became clear that the decision to select him was a correct one. Azam, the Gladiators’ 21-year-old emerging pick, smashed three shots over the boundary and stroked five shots to the fence to score 59 off 33 that helped Quetta chase a 169-run target in 18.3 overs for a loss of seven wickets.
Earlier, Islamabad got a blow on the tournament’s first ball when Colin Munro was caught and bowled by Mohammad Nawaz. After the first wicket was lost, Dawid Malan and Luke Ronchi tried to rebuild the innings and added 38 runs in 22 deliveries before the latter was caught at backward point off Sohail Khan after scoring 23.
Following Ronchi’s fall, it was Malan’s turn to take the charge and he did so by scoring some quick runs. The former added 68 runs for the third wicket before his partner, Hussain Talat (19), was caught by Ahmed Shahzad off Mohammad Hasnain. Colin Ingram was next to go and his wicket was followed by Malan’s departure. Malan had scored 64 off 50, smashing five fours and three sixes as Islamabad lost its last six wickets for just 41 runs.
Mohammad Hasnain got four wickets conceding 25 runs. Ben Cutting got three, giving 31 runs in four overs. In response, Quetta also lost three wickets. Jason Roy (0) and Ahmed Shahzad (7) were sent back to the pavilion by Mohammad Musa while Shane Watson was run out after scoring 15.
Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and Azam added 62 runs for the fourth wicket partnership and laid the foundation for Gladiators’ victory. Azam top-scored with 59, while Sarfaraz and Sohail Khan added 21 and 18 runs, respectively, before Ben Cutting (22 off 12) smashed a six off Shadab Khan on long-off to complete Quetta’s win with nine balls to spare.
Ever since the match has ended, Azam Khan has been getting support from fans and haters alike. Now all eyes are set on him on him and his future performances. Hopefully, he fulfills all the expectations and leave a mark in the cricket league, shutting up all the haters once and for all.
People Laughed at him and today Azam Khan is laughing MashAllah.
Azam showed everyone his ability to hit big shots with ease.
So proud of our Gladiator @MHasnainPak ❤️
Also important performances from @Cuttsy31 @SarfarazA_54 @mnawaz94
We are @TeamQuetta 💪💪💪#WeTheGladiators pic.twitter.com/t0U4Tv4A6n
— Nabeel Hashmi (@iNabeelHashmi) February 20, 2020