Karachi Kings. (Photo by FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP via Getty Images)

It hasn’t really been a tournament where either Karachi Kings or Peshawar Zalmi have dominated. Both the teams have blown hot and cold big time in this 2020 edition of the PSL. Karachi Kings started their campaign with a win over Peshawar Zalmi as the latter failed to chase down 202.

But a couple of indifferent batting performances led to successive losses before they chased down 184 with eight balls to spare to reach four points. Whenever the batsmen have done well, Karachi Kings have been on top. In fact, they have a very good bowling attack and there is quality in the batting too. Thus, if the batsmen could consistently get big scores, they could well be a big threat.

Peshawar Zalmi’s case hasn’t been too different either. They have won and been on top whenever the batting has come to the party. The only game they couldn’t win was when they fell 10 runs short of Karachi Kings’ 201 in their opening game of this PSL. Overall, they have won two, lost two and one has been rained off. Moreover, their wins and losses have come alternatingly with their last game against Islamabad United washed out.

Zalmi will be looking to avenge the loss Karachi Kings handed them in their opening game of this season. However, in overall head-to-head battles, Zalmi lead with an 8-3 win-loss record over the Kings. It is going to be another batting beauty at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. It has produced some high-scoring games already and we could be set for another. Moreover, with a few blazing batters on both sides, it may well be a run-fest.

Team Combination

Peshawar Zalmi

The Peshawar Zalmi batting line-up hasn’t really stepped up. It’s largely been Kamran Akmal in one game and Liam Livingstone in another. Meanwhile, Haider Ali has been consistent in the middle order but hasn’t got big scores. Hence, the likes of Tom Banton at the top, Darren Sammy and Lewis Gregory in the lower middle order will want to come good.

Wahab Riaz has led the bowling attack well. He’s picked up five wickets from four games. Gregory did well in his first game with the ball as he picked up four wickets. The likes of Hasan Ali and Rahat Ali have been inconsistent.

Probable XI

Kamran Akmal, Tom Banton (wk), Mohammad Mohsin, Liam Livingstone, Haider Ali, Daren Sammy (c), Lewis Gregory, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Amir Khan

Karachi Kings

After the first game, Babar Azam’s form has dipped slightly. However, Alex Hales has taken charge and more responsibility. He’s got runs and has looked in good touch. The middle-order has been slightly shaky and has been inconsistent. The likes of Cameron Delport, Chadwick Walton and skipper Imad Wasim have shown promise.

In fact, Wasim has looked very good and even has a fifty to his name in this tournament and has a strike-rate of 155.73 in this tournament. With the ball, Chris Jordan is leading the wicket charts with five from four games. Mohammad Amir has picked up four wickets from as many games. Wasim has bowled well but has picked up only two wickets.

Probable XI

Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Alex Hales, Cameron Delport, Chadwick Walton (wk), Imad Wasim (c), Iftikhar Ahmed, Chris Jordan, Umaid Asif, Umer Khan, Mohammad Amir

Focus will be on

Tom Banton [Peshawar] – The exciting young wicket-keeper batsman has caught everybody’s attention with some attractive strokeplay in the last few months. However, he hasn’t really come to the party in this tournament. He’s scored just 54 runs from four innings. But he did show signs of returning to his best in the last innings where he scored a fluent 34. Banton will be hoping he can build on that and get better.

Babar Azam [Karachi] – Pakistan’s T20I skipper had an excellent start to this tournament as he scored 78 and led the charge for Karachi Kings. However, he’s had three lowish scores since then. He’s accumulated just 39 runs in his last three innings. Azam is a top T20 player and will be itching to roar back into form.

Head to Head

Matches – 11 | Peshawar Zalmi won – 8 | Karachi Kings won – 3

Stat Attack

3 – Karachi Kings’ win over Peshawar Zalmi earlier in the tournament was their first win in the last five matches against Zalmi and just the third win in the history of the PSL.

94 – Babar Azam needs 94 more runs to become the second leading run-getter in PSL history. He is currently at 1160 runs while Shane Watson is ahead with 1253 runs.

Broadcast Details

TV: D Sport

Live Streaming – Cricket GateWay

Match Timings – 19:30 IST; 19:00 local; 14:00 GMT