PSL 9 Best XI: Babar Azam, Imad Wasim steal the limelight


Islamabad United won their third PSL title.

PSL season nine showcased remarkable displays of talent, culminating in an exhilarating final at the National Bank Stadium, Karachi, where Islamabad United emerged victorious against Multan Sultans.

United secured their third PSL title, while Sultans endured their third consecutive loss in the final match. Several standout performers shone brightly throughout the tournament, adding to the excitement and spectacle of the event.

Here is the Best XI, a list containing players who stepped up for their sides and created records.

1- Saim Ayub

Saim Ayub of Peshawar Zalmi showcased outstanding form throughout PSL 9, excelling with both bat and ball. His emergence as a proficient off-spinner came as a surprise to many, as he became a key asset for the team, particularly as Babar Azam’s primary bowling option.

The 21-year-old amassed an impressive tally of 345 runs in 11 innings, striking at a remarkable rate of 157.53. Notably, the left-hander hammered 21 sixes throughout the tournament, the highest count by any player in this year’s competition. In addition to his batting prowess, he also contributed with the ball, claiming eight wickets at an economy rate of 7.45.

2- Babar Azam 

Peshawar Zalmi’s captain, Babar Azam, showcased his mastery with the bat, displaying a renewed vigor in his batting approach. His performances in PSL 9 demonstrated a noticeable improvement in his strike rate, indicating a transformed batting style that contributed significantly to his team’s success.

Over the course of 11 matches, Azam showcased his batting prowess, amassing an impressive total of 569 runs. His standout performance came in Lahore, where he scored an unbeaten 111 against United, marking a memorable highlight from the first leg of the tournament.

Azam’s remarkable average of 56.9 underscored his dominance throughout the tournament, establishing him as a formidable presence on the field. Additionally, his strike rate of 142.6 exemplified his adeptness at both accumulating runs consistently and ramping up the scoring rate when the situation demanded.

He also became the second batter to hit the most runs in a single edition of the PSL, bettering his own record 554 runs in 2021 edition.

3- Usman Khan (wk)

Usman Khan, introduced into Multan Sultans’ playing XI as an overseas professional after four matches, seamlessly adapted and made significant contributions with the bat, unfazed by the delayed opportunity to showcase his batting prowess.

Accumulating an impressive total of 430 runs across seven innings, Usman Khan emerged as a standout performer in the league, showcasing exceptional consistency with an average of 107.5. Notably, he recorded two half-centuries and two centuries, all while maintaining a remarkable strike rate of 164.12.

4- Rassie van der Dussen

Despite Lahore Qalandars enduring a challenging PSL 9 campaign, securing just one victory, South Africa’s Rassie van der Dussen left a lasting impact with his dynamic and aggressive batting displays.

Despite featuring in just seven innings for Qalandars before his national commitments intervened, the 35-year-old showcased remarkable consistency and skill, accumulating a total of 364 runs. His impressive average of 72.8 and strike rate of 154.89 underscored his significant contributions to the team’s batting lineup.

He is one of the centurions of this year’s competition, scoring unbeaten 104 against Peshawar Zalmi in Lahore.

5- Reeza Hendricks

Reeza Hendricks, another South African cricketer, earned his spot in the best XI due to his outstanding performances during the initial phases of the tournament.

Playing a pivotal role as an anchor batter for the 2021 champions, the right-handed batsman showcased his proficiency by amassing 304 runs in eight innings. His impressive strike rate of 134.51 was fueled by three half-centuries, highlighting his ability to stabilize the innings and contribute significantly to his team’s success.

6- Shadab Khan (C)

Leading the charge for his team, Shadab Khan, the victorious captain of PSL 9, showcased his prowess as an all-rounder throughout the tournament. Demonstrating leadership from the forefront, he excelled in every aspect of the game and often outperformed the opposition with his assertive and aggressive approach.

He batted up the order while taking wickets at a crucial juncture of the game. He scored 305 runs at an average of 43.42 while taking 14 wickets.

7- Iftikhar Ahmed

Iftikhar Ahmed lived up to his reputation as the ‘Ifti Mania’ with some explosive hitting for Sultans. The 33-year-old showcased a unique flair in his batting style, distinguishing himself from other batters with his exceptional ball-striking ability.

Across 11 innings, the right-handed batsman boasted an impressive strike rate of 193.28 while accumulating a total of 259 runs. His aggressive batting resulted in 17 sixes, ranking him second in the tournament for the most sixes smashed.

8- Imad Wasim

In his debut season for United, Imad Wasim faced initial challenges in the PSL, but he showcased a remarkable transformation during the latter part of the tournament. As his team aimed for playoff qualification, Imad demonstrated exemplary leadership by guiding his side to victory with a crucial batting performance in the final moments of the game. His pivotal contributions included striking two boundaries to secure the win for his team.

During the same period, he impressed with a remarkable bowling performance, claiming figures of 3/12 in Eliminator 1. This was followed by a pivotal match-winning innings of 59 runs off just 40 balls in Eliminator 2, where he played a crucial role in chasing down the target.

In the championship match, he recorded impressive figures of 5/23, securing the distinction of being the first bowler to achieve a five-wicket haul in a PSL final. Throughout the tournament, he showcased his prowess with 12 wickets at an economy rate of 6.60, while also contributing 126 runs with the bat. His invaluable performances played a pivotal role in United’s triumphant campaign.

9- David Willey

Multan Sultans’ seasoned international recruit David Willey proved to be a potent force with the new ball. The English cricketer played a pivotal role for his team across the tournament. Over the course of 11 matches, he clinched 14 wickets, showcasing his effectiveness while maintaining an impressive economy rate of 7.60.

10- Naseem Shah

Despite returning from a shoulder injury, Naseem Shah showed no signs of rustiness, seamlessly fitting back into the fold. As the linchpin of United’s bowling arsenal, he amassed an impressive tally of 15 wickets across 11 innings, proving his mettle on the field.

Additionally, he showcased his prowess with the bat on several occasions, notably in the final match where he hammered a quick-fire 17 runs off just nine deliveries, featuring two boundaries and a six.

11- Usama Mir

Usama Mir concluded as the leading wicket-taker of the tournament, claiming 24 dismissals. His remarkable feat includes being the inaugural spinner to achieve such a significant tally of wickets in a single season of the PSL.

He was pivotal for captain Mohammad Rizwan, providing strikes at vital stages of the game.

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