The historic first PSL T20 tournament stages its first Championship Final Tuesday, and fans can watch a live stream as Islamabad United, led by longtime Pakistan Captain Misbah-ul-Haq face off against Quetta Gladiators, who are skippered by the man believed to the the country's captain-in-waiting, Sarfraz Ahmed.
PSL Final: Quetta Gladiators vs Islamabad United T20 Live score https://t.co/3A0SurUzTZ pic.twitter.com/JMx7Uf94BhThe much anticipated PSL Final also features a matchup of two of the most powerful batsmen in the inaugural Pakistan Super League, Andre "Superman" Russell of West Indies, who mashes the ball for Islamabad — and controversial former England star Kevin Pietersen keying the batting attack on the Quetta side.
— Arun rana (@IphoneGali) February 23, 2016
The final also gives a special sense of closure to the 2016 edition of the PSL, as Islamabad and Quetta faced off back on February 4 in the first Pakistan Super League match ever played, a match contested at Dubai International Cricket Stadium which is the the same venue hosting the final on February 23.
Quetta emerged the victor in that match, winning by eight wickets with four overs remaining, led by a stellar opening stand of 86 by England international Luke Wright and, on the bowling side, a sparking four-wicket haul for only 13 runs by Pakistan youth allrounder Mohammad Nawaz.
When the two sides met a second time one week later, Quetta won again, this time by seven wickets, requiring just one more ball than in the first meeting.
But Islamabad has now won their last four matches, including playoff eliminator victories over Karachi Kings and the table-topping Peshawar Zalmi in Sunday's PSL semifinal match, a game in which former Pakistan batsman Sharjeel Khan stunned favored Peshawar with the first and only century in the PSL, going for 117 before suffering a run-out.
Watch highlights of the dramatic Islamabad-Peshawar semifinal in the video below.
To find out how to watch a live stream of the first-ever PSL T20 Championship Final match, Islamabad United vs. Quetta Gladiators, see the links in the final paragraph of this article. The long-awaited game gets underway at 8 p.m. Gulf Standard Time at Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday, February 23. For cricket fans based in the United States, that start time will be 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, 8 a.m. Pacific.
Quetta Gladiators entered the tournament with modest expectations, but then cruised through the group stage of the inaugural PSL, winning six of their eight matches to finish in second place behind Zalmi on net run rate.
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Islamabad United, on the other hand, came in as tournament favorites only to flounder, finishing at 4-4 before winning their two playoff matches to earn themselves a shot at the PSL title after all.
But for Quetta skipper Sarfraz, the game has a larger meaning than simply taking home the PSL trophy. He has dedicated his team's effort to the city of Quetta, capital of the Balochistan province — an area where, unlike in most urban areas of Pakistan, cricket has not yet caught on as a major sport.
"Quetta is not known for cricket but with this performance in the PSL, I've seen how many people are increasingly getting interested in the game. We really want to do it for them," Sarfraz said on Monday.
"The PSL has been phenomenal in instilling the belief in the younger lot that they can follow their dreams, and I would be extremely proud if one day a legend is born from the city because of the confidence that our team, or the PSL, gave to them," he added.To watch a live stream of the history-making 2016 PSL Championship Final match, Islamabad United vs. Quetta Gladiators, go to Cricket Gateway at this link — or try this link for other streaming options. All of the Pakistan Super League 2016 matches have been streamed live in Pakistan on YouTube, through a deal between the PSL and Google, at this link, and the final match will be no exception. To watch the live stream on mobile devices, download the Cricket Gateway app.
[Featured Photo via Pakistan Super League Twitter]