Faisalabad Wolves take title with 36-run win
Faisalabad Wolves 158 for 3 (Ali 70*, Misbah 38*) beat Sialkot Stallions 122 (Malik 40, Tasawwar 28, Asad 3-21, Adil 3-37) by 36 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
After posting 158, Faisalabad Wolves had one major aim in the chase - dismissing Shoaib Malik. They got him in time to restrict Sialkot Stallions in the chase and take the title in front of a full house at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The Wolves won their previous national T20 title in 2005.
Wolves, by winning the title, have also qualified for the Champions League Twenty20 this year, though that remains subject invitation by the tournament organisers. Teams from Pakistan were ignored for the first three editions of that competition, though the Stallions were invited last year. They failed to qualify for the main round.
Wolves were off to a poor start after winning the toss, the openers back in the hut in the space of eight balls. However, they recovered, and recovered well.
The defining feature of Wolves' innings was the swift pace at which runs were scored. The first 50 runs came off 50 balls, second in 49 and the final 50 were knocked off in just 17 balls. Asif Ali was key, smashing 70 off 49 balls with nine boundaries, including three sixes. He first put together a 63-run third wicket stand with Khurram Shehzad (30) after the loss of two early wickets and then added an unbeaten 79 with captain Misbah-ul-Haq.
Ali won six awards for his 70: most stylish player, most fours, most sixes, best scorer, and the Player of the Match while Ehsan Adil was named best bowler of the tournament. Misbah, who is currently enjoying the best run in his career, finished being a tournament top-scorer with 206 at a strike-rate of 140.13 and an average of 103, He's also hit the most sixes this competition, 12. He played another assured hand in Wolves' innings, smacking three sixes for his brisk 38 off 25 balls.
The Stallions were reeling at 10 for 3 in the chase. Shakeel Ansar (4) was the first to go, top-edging a catch wicketkeeper Mohammad Salman.
Stallions once again had to rely on Malik. Along with Ayaz Tasawwar (28 off 26), Malik added a steady 63 runs for the fifth wicket but the asking-rate was climbing with each over. The pair resisted Wolves for a while but Adil returned for his final spell to end the fightback. He first dismissed Tasawwar - who was caught at extra cover by Asif - and followed with a double-strike, getting rid of the brothers (Shoaib and Adeel) in quick succession.
Malik finished the tournament as second-highest run-getter. His 40 off 39 balls included four fours and a six. After his departure, the rest of the batting couldn't hold together. Malik failed to turn the tables this time and his side was bowled out for 122 in 19.1 overs.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here