Karachi Kings made a thunderous start to the 2020 edition of the PSL. The team, led by Imad Wasim, got past the Peshawar Zalmi by 10 runs after scoring in excess of 200 runs. Their bowlers were put to the swords in the latter half of the run-chase, but the Kings managed to hold on. They are next scheduled to lock horns with the Quetta Gladiators in the first of Monday’s doubleheader in the PSL.
On head-to-head, the Gladiators have beaten the Kings in five out of eight matches. Both of Karachi’s victories came last season. Sarfaraz Ahmed’s Gladiators started with a victory over Islamabad United, but then went down to the Zalmi. Even in their first game, they got out of jail after the required rate soared up. The defending champions will wish to be a bit more clinical.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch in Karachi has turned out to be an absolute belter. But on Saturday, the Zalmi bowlers showed that keeping the batters in check isn’t impossible. In the first three games at the venue, the team, batting second had the advantage. The conditions will be clear during game time. The temperature will be around 31 degrees Celsius. The humidity will be in the 10s and 20s.
The Kings’ batting is in red-hot form after scoring over 200 in the first game. Babar Azam got the Player of the Match award after his 56-ball 78. Sharjeel Khan only got 19 on PSL return, but he looked in good rhythm. Imad Wasim had a decent day out after scoring 50 off 30 at number four.
Imad was expensive with the ball though, giving 20 in his two overs. Cameron Delport can also decimate oppositions on his day. In bowling, Jordan and Umaid Asif will hold the key. Mohammad Amir injured his hand and it remains to be seen whether or not he manages to make the cut.
Babar Azam, Sharjeel Khan, Cameron Delport, Imad Wasim (C), Chadwick Walton, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Umaid Asif, Mohammad Amir/Ali Khan, Chris Jordan, Arshad Iqbal
The Gladiators have tended to flounder in the batting department. Jason Roy returned to form with an unbeaten 73 after the duck versus the United. Shane Watson needs to pull up his socks after a couple of failures. Sarfaraz Ahmed has 62 runs, most importantly at an impressive strike-rate of 144.18.
Ahsan Ali and Azam Khan form a strong middle-order. In bowling, Fawad Ahmed’s form is turning out to be a bit of a concern. He has gotten two wickets, but has leaked 69 runs in six overs. Tymal Mills had a decent day against the Zalmi. Mohammad Hasnain remains as a vital cog with four wickets.
Jason Roy, Shane Watson, Ahmed Shehzad, Sarfaraz Ahmed (C & WK), Ahsan Ali, Azam Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Sohail Khan, Tymal Mills, Mohammad Hasnain, Fawad Ahmed
Probable Top Performers
Babar Azam– Karachi Kings | Jason Roy– Quetta Gladiators
TV: D Sport
Live Streaming – Cricket GateWay
Match Timings – 14:30 IST; 14:00 local; 09:00 GMT