We are approaching the business end of the tournament and there are only five league games left to be played. The first among those will be between Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars. It was less than a week ago that these two teams met and the Qalandars chased down 188 to win the game.
Karachi Kings were building some nice momentum. After one win and two losses, their campaign was going nowhere but a couple of wins was almost turning it around for them. But it was the rain that struck forcing both teams to share points and Karachi haven’t won since then. In all, they’ve seven points from as many games.
On the other hand, Lahore Qalandars looked down and out. They started with three losses in a row but they’ve been brilliant in the recent past and are now on a three-match winning streak. Their mantra has been to bowl first and chase down whatever target has been set. In fact, the Sohail Akhtar-led side has chased down in excess of 180 in two out of the last three games.
Hence, it promises to be an intriguing battle. This is a must-win game for Karachi Kings and they need to win in order to stay alive for a longer duration.
Pitch and Conditions
The tournament moves to the National Stadium in Karachi. The weather is all clear here and the rain should stay away. The temperatures are expected to be around 23 degrees.
The pitch at the National Stadium produces good batting tracks. The average score batting first at this venue in this season of the PSL is 168. The ball should come on to the bat nicely and batters will get value for their shots. Also, bowling first has seen more teams win this season.
Alex Hales and Babar Azam have led the charge with the bat for the Karachi Kings this season. Both of them have amassed more than 200 runs and have good strike-rates. The likes of Chadwick Walton, Sharjeel Khan and Cameron Delport need to step up in the middle order with the all-round presence of Imad Wasim who has been good.
On the bowling front, senior bowler Mohammad Amir has led the way. The left-arm fast bowler seems to be firing at all cylinders and has been bowling really well. He has picked up 10 wickets from seven games. Chris Jordan has blown hot and cold.
Probable XI: Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Alex Hales, Cameron Delport, Iftikhar Ahmed, Chadwick Walton (WK), Imad Wasim (C), Chris Jordan, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Umer Khan
Chris Lynn’s addition at the top bolsters the top order. Fakhar Zaman has been striking the ball well but his scores aren’t reflecting well. Mohammad Hafeez has been very inconsistent while Ben Dunk has been the powerhouse of the Lahore Qalandars. He’s been brilliant with a couple of 90s and is striking at 199.22 in this tournament.
Samit Patel has always posed challenges to the opposition batsmen when he takes the new ball. He’s been excellent while Shaheen Afridi is the leading wicket-taker with 11 wickets from seven games. Dilbar Hussain hasn’t done too badly either.
Probable XI: Fakhar Zaman, Chris Lynn, Mohammad Hafeez, Ben Dunk (wk), Sohail Akhtar (c), Samit Patel, David Wiese, Shaheen Afridi, Dilbar Hussain, Haris Rauf, Maaz Khan
Probable Top Performers
Alex Hales – Karachi Kings| Chris Lynn – Lahore Qalandars
Live Streaming – Cricket GateWay
Match Timings – 19:30 IST, 19:00 local
The prediction is for the chasing team to win the match.