Several of Pakistan’s stars are making their presence felt in international T20 leagues at the moment, especially in the Bangladesh Premier League. Here we take a look at the Pakistan players who are playing in Bangladesh and also in Australia’s Big Bash League. (None are playing in the SA20 or the ILT20).
The BPL Centurions
There have been three centuries scored in the BPL thus far this season, and all three have been scored by Pakistanis. The pick of the bunch came from Iftikhar Ahmed, who has played in all six of Fortune Barishal’s matches and is a key reason for their five-match winning-streak and current second place standing in the table.
He has scored 256 runs at an average of 128.00, with a whopping strike rate of 181.56. His unbeaten 100 against Rangpur Riders at No.6 came off just 45 balls and featured an incredible nine sixes and six fours, as he and Shakib Al Hasan put on a record fifth-wicket partnership in a T20 of 192 runs.
Azam Khan and Usman Khan join Iftikhar as the tournament’s sole centurions. The 24-year-old Azam has scored 176 runs in five matches at an average of 88.00 and a strike rate of 161.46. His unbeaten109 for Khulna Tigers against Chattogram Challengers came off 58 balls and included nine fours and eight sixes. He would undoubtedly have won the Player of the Match honours had Usman Khan – yet to make his Pakistan debut – not responded in kind with a match-winning 103*, also off 58 balls.
It is the usual suspects of Pakistan starring with the ball.
Wahab Riaz, at the ripe age of 37, is still tearing it up, leading the wicket-taking charts for Khulna Tigers with 11 wickets in five matches at a miniscule average of 11.54. He has taken two four-fors, including best figures of 4-14.
Imad Wasim has made some handy runs for Sylhet Strikers, including a 40 not out coming to the crease with the score at 49-6. But his biggest contributions have come with the ball. He has seven wickets at 18, with best figures of 3-20. His economy of 5.72 is the best for a bowler to have taken two or more wickets in this season’s BPL
Mohammad Amir also has seven wickets, but at a slightly higher average and economy of 20.42 and 5.95 respectively.
Khushdil Shah is another player like Wasim who has contributed with both bat and ball. His six wickets at 21.33 with an economy of 6.73 is impressive but combined with his 121 runs at 40.33 and a strike rate of 170.42, he has been a stand-out player for Comilla Victorians.
Haris Rauf and Amad Butt make up the remainder of the Pakistan bowlers who have had good tournaments. The former has taken five wickets at 15.60, including figures today of 3-17. The latter has four wickets in just three matches at 18.25 with similar best-figures of 3-16.
The best of the rest
Shaoib Malik may not have a century like other Pakistan batters, but he is dependable and his Player of the Match innings of 75 not out today takes him to a tournament tally of 225 runs at an average of 56.25. His strike rate of 135.54 is also what we’ve come to expect from a player of his pedigree.
Despite playing at the tournament less than 24 hours after international duty, Mohammad Rizwan has also made his mark. His 128 at 42.66 with a top score of 55 not out is decent from four matches but his strike rate is a lower than fans would hope for at 108.47.
Less said, the better
Sometimes these tournaments don’t go to plan, and that seems to have been the case for Hasan Ali. Once a regular in the Pakistan team, he has been out of form for some time and his BPL performance hasn’t done him any favours. In four matches, he has taken just three wickets at an average of 50.00 and with an economy of 9.37. He has been dropped in favour of the newly arrived Naseem Shah.
Several Pakistan batters have struggled this BPL. Ahmed Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan and Mohammad Nawaz have all appeared in three matches for their respective teams, but have only scored 51, 24 and 47 runs respectively. Mohammad Haris hasn’t fared any better in his four matches, scoring just 63 runs at 15.75. However, he did top-score for the Strikers with 44 in their victory against the Dhaka Dominators.
Haider Ali completes the Pakistan players at the tournament, and scored just three runs in his sole appearance for Barishal.
There have been far fewer Pakistan players at the Big Bash compared with the BPL, with only four heading Down Under. The pick of those players was Shadab Khan who played his last match for Hobart Hurricanes on December 31. In his five matches, he took seven wickets at an average of 20.57. His final appearance was in a big loss to Sydney Thunder in which he finished with figures of 0-41.
Faheem Ashraf replaced him in Hobart, but hasn’t fared as well. His eight matches have netted him five wickets at 49.00, and he hasn’t done much more with the bat, scoring 47 runs at 15.66. Asif Ali has also struggled for the Hurricanes, scoring just 79 runs at 9.87 in his 10 matches.
Usman Qadir hasn’t had much to write home about for the Sydney Thunder either. In the nine matches he has played, he has taken seven wickets at an average of 35.14, with an economy of 8.20.