The stage is set for the finale of one of the most exciting Seasons of the Pakistan Super League as the last-4 have been decided. Lahore Qalandars, Multan Sultans, Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi have qualified for the playoffs.

Quetta Gladiators, who had a forgettable season ended up bottom of the table as Karachi Kings, who were the first team to be eliminated beat Islamabad by 86 runs in the last game on Sunday night to jump above them in the points table. Earlier, Peshawar Zalmi defeated Islamabad to deny them a second-spot finish. They won by 13 runs while defending a paltry 179-run total.

Courtesy @thePSLt20 on Twitter

Here’s how the week ahead is looking.

There will be a few major changes in the squads for the playoffs with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirming the departure of Multan Sultans’ Akeal Hosein, Peshawar Zalmi’s Rovman Powell, Quetta Gladiators’ Odean Smith, Islamabad United’s Rassie van der Dussen and Multan Sultans’ David Miller due to international commitments.


The Playoffs

The top-4 teams that advance to the playoff stage play their respective matches based on where they were placed in the final points standings, as is customary. The Net run rate plays a major role here. In the playoffs, the 4 games played are the Qualifier, Eliminator 1, Eliminator 2, and the Final.


Team standings

1. Lahore, 2. Multan, 3. Islamabad & 4. Peshawar

The top-2 teams play the 1st game, the Qualifier, giving them a second chance to advance to the final round. The winner going straight through to the final while the loser faces the winner of Eliminator 1 in Eliminator 2. Teams 3 & 4 faceoff in Eliminator 1.


The Remaining PSL 8 Matches

15th March – Qualifier (Lahore vs Multan)
16th March – Eliminator 1 (Islamabad vs Peshawar)
17th March – Eliminator 2 (loser Qualifier v winner Eliminator 1)
19th March – Final

The closing ceremony and final will be played on March 19th at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, which will also host the playoffs.

The winner will not only lift the Supernova Trophy but will also collect a cheque of Rs120m, while the runners-up will receive a cheque of Rs48m. Both Pakistani Rupees.

And, finally, here’s why PSL 8 was a record-breaking season
Via – ESPNCricInfo

247 The previous highest total in the PSL was Islamabad United’s 247 against Peshawar Zalmi in 2021. Before Multan Sultans and Quetta Gladiators in Rawalpindi, no team in the PSL had got to 250. In fact, no side had scored 250 in any T20 in Pakistan.

515 Runs scored between Sultans and Gladiators on Saturday, the highest match aggregate in T20s. Only one other T20 had aggregated 500-plus runs in T20s before this, when 501 runs were scored by Titans and Knights in last year’s CSA T20 Challenge.

36 Balls Usman Khan took for his century against Gladiators, the fastest in PSL. Usman broke the record set by his team-mate Rilee Rossouw – off 41 balls – only a day before against Zalmi. Three of the top four fastest PSL hundreds have been scored this week in Rawalpindi.

1 Number of T20 centuries by Pakistan players scored in fewer balls than Usman’s 36-ball ton on Saturday. Khushdil Shah’s 35-ball century against Sindh in the 2020 National T20 Cup – also in Rawalpindi – is the fastest in T20s by a Pakistan batter.

8.2 Overs when Usman reached his century, the earliest point any batter has completed the landmark in men’s T20s (where ball-by-ball data is available). The previous earliest was in 8.5 overs by Chris Gayle during his 175* for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2013.

120 Usman’s runs by the end of Sultans’ tenth over, the highest by any batter in the first ten overs of a men’s T20 innings (where ball-by-ball data is available). Gayle’s 105 runs during his record 175* were the previous highest individual runs by the halfway stage.

120 Usman’s score against Gladiators is the fourth-highest individual score in the PSL, and the highest by a Pakistan player. The previous highest was 117 by Sharjeel Khan for United against Zalmi in 2016.

77 Runs conceded by Qais Ahmed in his four overs, the most by a bowler in a PSL match. Shahid Afridi’s 67 runs against United last year were the previous highest in the PSL. The 77 runs conceded by Qais are also the joint third-highest for a bowler in a men’s T20.

54 Runs scored by Usman in the 12 balls he faced against Qais, the most by a batter off a bowler in a men’s T20 (where ball-by-ball data is available). The previous highest was 53 by Cameron Delport against Tom Curran during a 2019 T20 Blast game.

33 Sixes by Gladiators and Sultans in this match, the highest number of sixes hit in a PSL match, surpassing the 32 hit during Friday’s game between Zalmi and Sultans.

253 for 8 Gladiators’ total is now the highest in a T20 chase, and the highest in T20s to end up on the losing side. Central Districts held both records when their 248 for 4 against Otago in 2016 fell two runs short of the 250-run chase.