The troubled 2020 season of the Pakistan Super League will finally reach a climax when Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars meet in the final.
For the first time in the competition’s five-year history, the showpiece match pits together the two sides that make up what is historically regarded as the country’s biggest rivalry.
Their meeting means there will definitely be a new name on the trophy, which previously was won twice by Islamabad United, and once each by Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators, the outgoing champions.
Tuesday, November 17, starting at 7pm UAE time
National Stadium, Karachi
The match will be streamed live and for free on YouTube
Teams: Karachi Kings
Karachi were the first side to make it through to the final, when they beat table-topping Multan Sultans in the first qualifier playoff on Saturday.
They needed a Super Over to do so, after the match – in which their captain Babar Azam top scored with 65 - had finished tied.
Karachi finished second in the points table in the league season, before the competition was suspended because of Covid.
At that point, a number of their overseas players had already returned to Pakistan.
The decision to finally pause the competition has meant Alex Hales, who reported Covid-like symptoms back then, leading to the decision to suspend play, is now available again.
Their bid to win the title will be driven by poignancy. Dean Jones, who was their head coach at the start of this competition, died from a heart attack in September.
He was commemorated when the competition restarted at the weekend as the players of Karachi and Multan stood in the configuration of the letter D, ahead of the qualifier playoff.
After four years spent languishing at the bottom of the PSL table, racking up an unwanted record as the worst T20 side in the world in the process, Lahore have burst into life this season.
They finished third in the league phase, but powered through to the final with wins over Peshawar Zalmi and Multan Sultans.
Their excellence in the playoffs belies the fact they are without Chris Lynn, who was in prolific form for them in the league phase.
The Australian, who scored 284 runs at a strike-rate of 180, is unavailable. He has been replaced by the Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal.
Babar Azam v Shaheen Shah Afridi
The two shining lights of Pakistan cricket – Babar as captain and leading batsman, and Shaheen as its premier fast bowler – will be in direct conflict.
Babar is the top scorer in the competition, his haul of 410 being 100 more than the next best, which is Mohammed Hafeez.
He is in prime touch – as ever – with his lowest score in his past five trips to the crease this month being 51.
Shaheen is in fine form, too. He has taken four wickets since the PSL restarted, took five in an ODI against Zimbabwe earlier in the month, and took four wickets in four balls in a county match at the end of the UK summer.
Alex Hales v Haris Rauf
Hales might have a troubled relationship with the hierarchy in English cricket, but he has found a home with Karachi.
When he left prematurely in March, as travel was becoming increasingly restricted because of coronavirus, he said he could not wait to return.
The franchise were equally enamoured by him, too, and – from half the world away - attempted to sort out a private doctor for him when he reported Covid-like symptoms.
Haris Rauf, the tape-ball cricketer turned international star, generally bowls the later overs for his sides in T20, but he might be employed earlier to have a go at dismissing Hales.
Mohammed Amir v Ben Dunk
Left-arm fast bowler Amir has been wicket shy of late. He has just six wickets in his past 10 matches, stretching back to the England series in the summer.
However, he has a habit for turning up in big matches, so could well pose a threat to the Qalandars batsmen.
Much like Hales for Karachi, Dunk spoke in adoring terms of his time with Lahore in the league phase of the competition.
When lots of the overseas players were retreating to their homes as the pandemic gripped, Dunk was happy to stay on.
Now, the Australian wicketkeeper is within one game of becoming champions with them, too.