KARACHI: Karachi Kings face off against top-ranked Quetta Gladiators at National Stadium Karachi today in a bid to stay in contention for a place in the playoffs.
Karachi Kings’ hopes have been boosted by Lahore Qalandars’ defeat last night against Islamabad United. Quetta Gladiators, Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United are already through to the playoffs. The battle for the fourth spot is now between Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars, who also happen to share the hottest rivalry in the Pakistan Super League. Multan Sultans are already out of the race.
In order to make it to the playoffs, the Imad Wasim-led team needs to win only one of its two remaining matches. If Karachi win against Quetta today, they will be through to the playoffs and Lahore will be eliminated. If Karachi lose today, Lahore will remain in contention for the playoffs.
Lahore need Quetta to beat Karachi today, then beat Multan Sultans comprehensively on Monday and then pray for Peshawar Zalmi to beat Karachi the same day. (Tricky, eh?)
Karachi will be relying on their in-form batting, particularly Colin Ingram who smashed a century earlier in the tournament, and the world number one Babar Azam. They will also have high expectations from the second-ranked T20 batsman Colin Munro, who has failed to click so far.
In the bowling department, the focus would be on restricting runs – a genuine worry with the short boundaries at the National Stadium.
Quetta, on the other hand, are the favourites to win this PSL. Denied the title after coming excruciatingly close twice before, Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men will let nothing stop them from getting that trophy.
Imad Wasim (c), Colin Munro, Babar Azam, Mohammad Amir, Colin Ingram, Usman Shinwari, Mohammad Rizwan, Ravi Bopara, Sikandar Raza, Awais Zia, Usama Mir, Aaron Summers, Sohail Khan, Iftekhar Ahmed, Ali Imran, Abrar Ahmed, Aamir Yamin, Ben Dunk, Liam Livingstone, Jahid Ali, Umer Khan
Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Shane Watson, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Nawaz, Rilee Rossouw, Umar Akmal, Fawad Ahmed, Anwar Ali, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Asghar, Danish Aziz, Ahsan Ali, Ghulam Madassir, Mohammad Hasnain, Harry Gurney, Ahmed Shahzad, Azam Khan, Jalat Khan, Mohammad Irfan Jr