In the shortest version of the game getting off to a fast start is often crucial to a team’s chances of winning. Here however we look at the PSL sides who have recorded the lowest powerplay scores in the tournament’s history and the stories behind the matches that witnessed those slow beginings.
Peshawar Zalmi 20 runs vs Lahore, Qalandars, 2019
It might come as something of a surprise to learn that the team with the lowest powerplay score in the PSL actually managed to win the game it was recorded in!
To say this match was a turgid affair would be an understatement as Lahore crawled to just 124 from their 20 overs on a very slow, low pitch in Abu Dhabi. However, they looked on course to defend their total when they reduced Peshawar to 20 for 4 during the powerplay.
Peshawar lost a wicket in the first and second over and then 2 in 2 balls in the 3rd over as Shaheen Shah Afridi’s 2 over spell in the powerplay finished with the impressive figures of 3 for 6.
However, the one top-order player that managed to resist Lahore’s opening burst was none other than former Pakistan captain Misbah Ul-Haq certainly the sort of man who you’d want in a crisis. From a score of 20 for 5 at one stage Misbah and another international captain in the form of Darren Sammy combined to use all their experience in hitting a century partnership that dragged Peshawar from a record low powerplay score to a 4 wicket victory with a ball to spare.
View the full scorecard of the lowest powerplay score in the PSL
Peshawar Zalmi 20 runs vs Lahore, Qalandars, 2017
Peshawar’s effort of 4 for 20 in the powerplay against Lahore in 2017 was in fact a record equalling lowest powerplay score in the PSL following on from their 2 for 20 that they recorded against the same opposition 2 years earlier!
What’s more, to keep the pattern going the game once again finished in victory for Peshawar despite their struggles in the powerplay. This time it was largely thanks to the fact that Lahore were dismissed in their innings for a meagre 69 runs with Peshawar not keen to take any risks in pusuit of the tiny total.
In fact so risk averse were Peshawar that they played 25 dot balls out of the 36 deliveries available in the powerplay and didn’t strike a boundary until the 6th over when Eoin Morgan decided enough was enough and helped more than double his team’s score from 9 for 2 at the end of the 5th over to 20 for 2 at the completion of the powerplay.
View the scorecard for the equal lowest powerplay score in the PSL
Quetta Gladiators 21 runs vs Lahore Qalandars
Lahore are the bowling unit that has delivered the 3 lowest powerplay scores in the history of the PSL to date and with this effort against Quetta Gladiators they finally managed to win one of those games!
As you can imagine, Shaheen Shah Afridi was once again at the forefront for Lahore knocking over Shane Watson for a first ball duck and then having Ahmed Shehzad caught at backward point to leave Quetta struggling at 15 for 2 at the half way point of the powerplay.
However, it was Afridi’s unlikely fellow opening bowler, Samit Patel, who really did the damage including a triple wicket maiden in the final over of the powerplay to leave the Gladiators 21 for 6 after the initial 6 overs. Patel finished the match with figures of 4 overs, 1 maiden, 4 for 5 as Quetta eventually settled on just batting out their full allotment of overs following their nightmare start.
View the full scorecard for the 3rd lowest score and the most wickets in a powerplay in the PSL
Islamabad United 22 runs vs Quetta Gladiators, 2016
Talk about your anti-climaxes! This low score in the powerplay came in the very first innings of the very first match in the PSL’s history!
It seems like no one told Shane Watson that the PSL is in fact a T20 tournament as the Aussie opener played out the first over as a maiden and finished the powerplay 12 not out from 22 balls! At the other end, Watson’s fellow opening batsman, Sharjeel Khan, can at least point to the fact that he managed the first ever 6 of the PSL but when he departed a couple of balls later, Islamabad shut up shop again to finish the inaugral powerplay of the PSL at 22 for 1.
Bowling wise, Anwar Ali was the man to deliver that initial maiden over and his powerplay figures of 2 overs for 6 runs were only bettered by Mohammed Nabi who delivered 2 overs while the field was up for the cost of just 2 runs. Not exactly a thrilling start to the PSL!
View the full scorecard of the opening match of the PSL and for what was for a while at least its lowest powerplay score.
Karachi Kings 23 runs vs Peshawar Zalmi, 2017
Chasing Peshawar’s total of 181, Karachi knew they needed to lay a solid foundation if they were to progress to the final in this knockout fixture. However even players of the calibre of Chris Gayle and Babar Azam sometimes get the momentum of a T20 innings wrong as was the case in this poor effort in the powerplay.
Babar Azam took strike and avoided playing out a maiden in the first over of the powerplay by pinching the strike from the final ball. However, he was out soon out after having used up 7 deliveries for his single while at the other end Chris Gayle didn’t get to face a ball until the end of the 2nd over. It seems that all that time at the non-strikers end watching Babar hit dot ball after dot ball must have put the Universe Boss into a kind of comma as he too played out his first 8 deliveries for no runs!
Gayle did finally get going in the middle overs before being dismissed for 41 from 30 balls but the hole he and Babar had dug their team into during the powerplay was too deep for them to escape from as Peshawar ran out comfortable winners.
View the scorecard for Karachi Kings lowest powerplay score in the PSL.
Islamabad United 23 runs vs Peshawar Zalmi, 2017
If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs… Perhaps not quite the scenario that Rudyard Kipling was envisaging when he wrote his immortal lines but Dwayne Smith certainly showed a lot of character in this PSL match following Islamabad’s low powerplay score.
United lost a couple of early wickets to leave themselves 15 for 2 after 3 overs with Smith and Sam Billings opting to take a low risk approach to the remainder of the powerplay by dealing exclusively in singles from that point on. Smith finishing the powerplay with 7 runs from 16 balls.
However, the West Indian proved that as long as you’re still out in the middle you’ve got a chance in T20 cricket by batting through the innings for an unbeaten 72 from 59 balls and helping Islamabad to a win off the very last ball of the match.
View the scorecard for one of the lowest powerplays in the PSL that ultimately ended as one of its most thrilling finishes!