Grant Elliott on repeat
The six in Auckland against South Africa was certainly more iconic: a World Cup semi-final, a full house in front of a home crowd, and Dale Steyn steaming in. But the celebration after Grant Elliott nervelessly dispatched Islamabad United's Mohammad Sami over the long-on boundary with Lahore Qalandars needing six to win and one wicket in hand was unmatched. As the ball soared into the stands, Yasir Shah came rushing towards his team-mate to give him a bear hug. Elliott barely noticed; he held his bat in the air out in front of him horizontally at eye level, before letting it fall to the ground. If there is a cooler variation of the mic drop, we are yet to see it.
Mickey Arthur's hairdryer
Sir Alex Ferguson was feared by players across generations for his severe half-time dressing-downs, but at least he used to wait until his side were back inside the privacy of the changing rooms. When Karachi Kings' head coach Mickey Arthur saw his players' intensity levels drop dramatically in what looked like being an embarrassing defeat against Quetta Gladiators, he gave his players no such hiding place. Calling for a timeout after ten overs, he charged onto the field, his face like thunder. After getting his team into a huddle, he gave them the most public of admonishments; it was not unlike a headmaster speaking to a group of schoolboys who knew when they had been naughty. Poor Sohail Khan seemed to come off worst, but it seemed to have worked somewhat, given three wickets fell in the next over he bowled. It perhaps sent a message not just to Karachi's players, but also the national team's, that Mickey Arthur isn't a man to be crossed.
Baz or bust
Brendon McCullum as captain of Lahore was always going to be a delicious sub-theme this season. A naturally - perhaps recklessly - attacking captain, leading Pakistan's most fun-loving city (sorry Karachi; not even close Islamabad) - what could possibly go wrong? Well, on days like this, plenty. McCullum began it himself, pulling the last ball of the first over when it wasn't short enough straight to deep midwicket. Just over nine overs later, they were all gone, for 59, the second-shortest innings in T20 history. Game over right? Wrong. The defense of such a low total merely heightened McCullum's attacking instincts. A brilliant, relentless spell from Yasir Shah sparked a Peshawar collapse from 47 for 3 to 51 for 7. Somehow, they scraped through but this was Lahore and McCullum at their most bewildering and brilliant.
It would be safe to lend Darren Sammy some money, because this PSL he proved if he has debts to pay off, he doesn't wait around. In the tournament's opening match, the Peshawar captain dropped a Dwayne Smith sitter in the slips, with Smith going on to score a half-century and winning his side the game. Less than 24 hours later, Sammy paid his dues off. Hasan Ali drew a thick outside edge from Karachi's Babar Azam, with the ball seemingly racing to the third-man boundary. Sammy at first slip, however, threw himself to his right and flung out an arm. The ball nestled straight into his palm, and the catch, while outstanding enough, was superseded by the celebration. He got his team together, held out an imaginary smartphone at arm's length, and snapped a selfie. The camera might have been imaginary, but the moment had been captured.
Corruption scandal dents PSL
Pakistan cricket in the last three decades has been hit with many controversies and fixing scandals. Since the 2010 spot-fixing debacle, PCB had made extensive efforts to eradicate corruption from the layers deep down but the disease resurfaced to dent the second edition of PSL. On the second day of the second edition, it stunned the entire league when Islamabad players Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif were allegedly caught in a spot-fixing affair. Both were suspended with immediate effect and sent back home. Both were booked and could face a lifetime ban from cricket. Mohammad Irfan, Shahzaib Hasan and Zulfiqar Babar were questioned after the trio reported false approaches for fixing.
Birthday boy Sami defends five off final over
Few can manage to make their birthday as special as Sami did on his 36th. It was an inauspicious start to the day for Sami as he spent his afternoon vomiting in a hotel room with a stomach bug ailing him. But by the evening, he regathered himself for the game. A contest which Islamabad had virtually lost while Quetta were cruising to victory, requiring 17 off 18 balls with eight wickets in hands. But suddenly things started to slip away and it all came down to Sami needing to defend five off the final over. He stunned everyone by doing so successfully to make the impossible possible. "It was a game we had lost but I went with the plan without being complacent and the rest I left to chance," he said later. "When you are defending five runs in T20, you only impose yourself and press batsman to make a mistake and that's exactly we did."
Pollard takes ownership
Ten to win off the last two balls and ten to stay alive in the PSL and at the crease, Kieron Pollard. He had had a quiet-ish tournament until then, emblematic of a Karachi side that had the individual parts but had not yet gelled into a unit. Even against Lahore, they had always looked slightly behind the asking rate and with 14 needed off the last over, were likelier to lose. With ten needed off two, Aamer Yamin missed an outside-off yorker by a few inches, which was all Pollard needed to get under it and loft over wide long-off. Four needed off the last ball and this time Yamin fluffed the line as well, going a little straighter and again not as full. Pollard shoveled it over square leg for a maximum and promptly set off in wild celebration, beginning with some push-ups. "I own Karachi," he said later in a video from the team bus: he wasn't wrong.
The star-man shines
It has been a rich season for celebrations in the PSL. Elliott's bat-drop was streets ahead of anything else. Rumman Raees' elegantly posed mannequin caught the eye too, as did Mohammad Amir's response when Karachi knocked Islamabad out. But one had been missing throughout - perhaps the most iconic Pakistani celebration of the modern age. Until the penultimate game of the league stages, Shahid Afridi had done little to warrant bringing out the patented star-man pose. There was a maiden PSL fifty in a losing cause against Karachi, but he had taken just two wickets until then. Then, in a low-stakes game against Quetta, he came in at 52 for 6, with 77 still needed on a sluggish surface in just over ten overs. He was a sedate 15 off 12 when Mohammad Hafeez fell and as he began to lose partners, he opened up to the extent that he hit 30 off his next 11; two fours from the first two balls of the last over sealed a two-wicket win, but more importantly, allowed him and us, one more time, that star-man pose.
Nawaz holds his nerve
Big-game pressure makes big-game players, goes the old cliché. Mohammad Nawaz was one of the finds of the first PSL, earning him a spot in the Pakistan side. His international experience has been underwhelming but here came a night that potentially could be the making of him. The conditions in the first qualifying game between Peshawar and Quetta were treacherous for bowlers. The surface was pristine for strokeplay and the dew, especially when Quetta bowled, was unmanageable. Gripping the ball was impossible, as Nawaz discovered while being dispatched for 46 runs in his first three overs. As he came on for the last over, Peshawar needed only seven, with Sammy on strike. A dot first up was cancelled out by a four next ball. And with half the over gone, only two were needed. Nawaz quickened his pace to dismiss Chris Jordan and then, after multiple discussions with captain and seniors, somehow gripped the ball well enough to bowl two inch-perfect yorkers which caused two run-outs. And so was sealed a remarkable win, and perhaps Nawaz's graduation.
Akmal senior rolls back the years
The Akmal brothers have been the butt of more than their fair share of jokes over the years, but Kamran ensured that it was only the Peshawar fans who were laughing by the time the third qualifier was over. After showing flashes of form over the course of the tournament, the diminutive wicketkeeper was at his free-flowing best in the must-win game against Karachi. His intent - and form - were apparent after the first two balls of the contest, both exquisitely-timed off-side drives for four. This wasn't unusual; what really surprised was that he turned that elegance into substance, converting a promising start into a destructive hundred. He was unstoppable in the last overs, hitting sixes with an effortlessness that would have had bigger men envying him, wrenching the game away from Karachi. It was the PSL's only century this season, and the acclamation he received upon being dismissed - by the opposition players and fans alike - said plenty about how impressive he had been.