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Six stars to watch out for in PSL4

February 12 , 2019

Photo: AFP

The Pakistan Super League (PSL) has been an avenue for local emerging players to show their talent while playing alongside some of the legends of the game.

However, the league would be incomplete without performances from foreign stars as well as the glitz and glamour that they provide.

In its first three editions, PSL has hosted 77 foreign stars and all three man-of-the-match awards in previous finals have been bagged by foreign stars — Dwayne Smith, Darren Sammy and Luke Ronchi in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Here we take a look at some foreign players who have previously set the PSL ablaze.

Luke Ronchi

Ronchi represented Islamabad United in his first PSL campaign in 2018 and led them to their second title in three years. The former New Zealand opener, who also keeps wickets for United, was the top run-getter last year, scoring 435 runs at a staggering strike-rate of 182.

The opener didn’t make his presence felt immediately, picking up a couple of ducks before finding his rhythm and scoring five half-centuries in the following seven innings. His best came against Karachi Kings when he scored 94 not out off just 39 deliveries.

Ronchi was also instrumental in the final against Peshawar Zalmi where he scored another crucial half-century and helped his team clinch their second championship. For his consistent performances, Ronchi was named player of the tournament.

Ravi Bopara

Bopara, while playing for the Karachi Kings in the league’s inaugural edition, might have produced T20 cricket’s greatest performance. Playing against the Quetta Gladiatiors, Bopara produced a 43-ball 71 run innings and also ended up taking six wickets for just 16 runs.

Photo: Twitter\PSL

In PSL’s first campaign, Bopara finished with 329 runs and 11 wickets and was named player of the tournament.

Bopara, in three seasons combined, has scored 571 runs and taken 15 wickets. He has stayed with Kings throughout PSL’s journey and will be representing the Karachi outfit once again this year.

Darren Sammy

Sammy, since the start of PSL, has been known as much for his on-field performances as he is for his off-the-field adventures. He is often seen interacting with fans and posing for pictures with the ground staff.

However the two-time World T20I winning captain hasn’t let that affect his attitude on the pitch. Taking over as captain of Peshawar Zalmi in the second edition, he’s led his team to two consecutive finals and a championship win in 2017.

Photo: AFP

The West Indian’s role in the final in 2017, albeit short, was enough to push his team over the line. His 11- ball 28 was instrumental in setting a competitive total against Quetta Gladiators, and earned him a man-of-the-match award.

In PSL 2018, Sammy finished with the highest strike-rate for any batsman and his team finished as runner-ups in the tournament.

Shane Watson

The Australian all-rounder represented Islamabad United in the first two campaigns and switched to Gladiators for the third edition. He won the tournament with United in the league’s first edition.

Photo: Twitter\PSL

Watson is statistically the best overseas PSL batsman with 684 runs and his tally of 43 sixes has been the most by any foreign  player in PSL.

His change of outfits last year didn’t affect his performance. At a strike-rate of 135, Wastson scored 319 runs for the Gladiators, including a 90 run not-out innings against Kings.

Andre Russel

The West Indian all-rounder has moved to Multan Sultans after being part of United where he’s picked up two winner medals.

In the first edition, Russel was the leading wicket-taker of the league, finishing with 16 wickets, including crucial wickets in the final against Gladiators in Dubai.

Photo: Twitter\PSL

Russel’s 2018 PSL campaign was marred by injuries, but even in his short stint last year, Russel was instrumental for his team. Russel and Asif Ali successfully chased 16 runs in a match-deciding super over against Lahore Qalandars, after the match had ended in a tie.

Sunil Narine

Narine is yet another West Inidan who has had an impactful career at PSL. While playing for Qalandars in previous two seasons, he picked up 20 wickets, and bowled 66 overs at an economy of just 6.22.

Photo: Twitter\PSL

Narine’s economy is the lowest for any bowler in PSL history, and he has impressed with the bat too. His batting strike-rate of 164, after scoring 214 runs, is third highest, behind only Shahid Afridi and Luke Ronchi.

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