|Finished.186/9 (20) - 189/4 (19.2)|
Although the Peshawar Zalmi trail them by 2 points at the time of writing, in about an hour, the Karachi Kings should fall down to second place with a game in hand. With a solid win over the Multan Sultans to bounce back from their previous defeat, the defending champions have shown that they’re not going to be pushed aside from their path towards retaining the crown. Next up on the docket is a clash against the very team they beat to take that crown the first time - the Lahore Qalandars. The Qalandars have faltered after two wins, and need to win this one to not only get back into the top half of the table, but to exact revenge for last year’s final. Before this much-awaited grudge match begins, let’s take a look at the two sides.
Imad Wasim (c), Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Colin Ingram, Daniel Christian, Joe Clarke (wk), Mohammad Nabi, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Waqas Maqsood, Arshad Iqbal.
Preview and form
Although many may have doubted the Kings’ strength after their last match, in this one they proved two things once again - that they’re still very much in the running, and that any chase is possible on this pitch. Bowling first against the Sultans, the Kings’ bowling attack was being absolutely butchered before they turned things around and managed to keep the Sultans ‘limited’ to 195. Arshad Iqbal did well for his two wickets, but it was Imad Wasim who kept things very economical and took a wicket who really helped that cause. On the chase, Sharjeel Khan may have given the team a decent start with his 27, but it was Babar Azam’s 60-ball 90 and Joe Clarke’s 54 off 26 that got KK across with 7 wickets and 7 balls to spare.
Babar Azam: It’s just impossible to keep a man of Babar’s skills down.
Colin Ingram: The South African hasn’t been able to do much yet, but he’ll get his chance.
Arshad Iqbal: Arshad has been pretty consistent with his wicket-taking abilities, at least more than the other Kings bowlers.
Mohammad Amir: Amir should be doing better than he is, and we hope the next match will be the start of that.
Sohail Akhtar (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Samit Patel, Ben Dunk (wk), David Wiese, Haris Rauf, Maaz Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Ahmed Daniyal, Joe Denly.
Preview and form
It’s the perfect opportunity for the Qalandars to prove what many fans have been claiming for a few months - that the Kings were able to get the better of them in the final because they were lacking some of their key players due to the circumstances under which the playoffs and final were played. In their last match, the Qalandars were batting first against the Sultans. A slow start saw them trudging along at ODI levels, with Joe Denly’s 31 off 29 being a prime example. However, Mohammad Hafeez was excellent as usual with 60 from 35, and Samit Patel’s 26 from 20 helped a little in seeing them rack up 157 - an inadequate score on this pitch to say the least. Despite picking up two early wickets, the Qalandars never really stood a chance. Shaheen Shah Afridi’s excellent 4-0-29-2 and Samit Patel’s single scalp were to no avail as they ended up losing by 7 wickets with 3.4 overs left over.
Fakhar Zaman: Zaman couldn’t repeat his feat from the previous match, but he may well do better in the next one.
Mohammad Hafeez: The Professor has been in terrific nick this season.
Shaheen Shah Afridi: Shaheen returned to form with a vengeance, but perhaps he needs to do even more in order to get his team to succeed.
Haris Rauf: Although he was slapped around in the last game, Haris has it in him to come back strong.
Karachi Kings vs Lahore Qalandars weather conditions and pitch report
Although a touch too dry on the humidity part, every other factor should be absolutely delightful for any cricket player. No rain, no heat, no cold, and no high winds.
The pitch at the National Stadium favours fast bowlers and has a good bit in it for batsmen, but as it has shown 10 times in a row, whatever a team does, they should bat second. It seems that not a single target is safe no matter how seemingly out of reach, and although no team has put up more than 200 in the first innings, it’s perhaps exactly that or a total collapse of the chasing team which is required to have a team batting first win here.
Can the Kings continue to rule over PSL? Or will the Qalandars finally finally slake their third for revenge somewhat? Find out if our Karachi Kings versus Lahore Qalandars predictions come true on Sunday!
|KK Top Batsman:|
|LQ Top Batsman:|
|KK Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|LQ Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|Players to score a fifty:|
|B Azam/C Ingram (KK), M Hafeez/F Zaman (LQ)|