The Karachi Kings started the PSL 2020 with a few defeats that pushed them down the points table. However, Imad Wasim and Co are in excellent rhythm, having beaten the Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi without much fuss. But despite the two victories, they are placed fifth in the table with six points. Their next match is against Lahore Qalandars on Saturday at the Gaddafi Stadium.
On head-to-head count, the Kings have a 5-3 lead over their opponent. This is also the first time the teams would be pitted against each other in Pakistan. The Qalandars got a massive boost-up after taking down defending champions Quetta Gladiators by 37 runs. However, Sohail Akhtar and Co slumped after a 71-run defeat to Islamabad United. Another loss could almost knock them out.
Pitch and Conditions
The track in Lahore hasn’t had much for the bowlers, who have been taken for plenty thus far. The deck isn’t expected to change much and another high-scoring seems to be in store in the second of Saturday’s doubleheader. Though the last two games went in favour of the team, batting first, chasing should be the way forward. The temperature will be around 16 degrees Celsius mark.
The Qalandars batting is yet to show enough consistency. Ben Dunk, Mohammad Hafeez and Samit Patel have had a few impressive knocks under their belt. However, the team needs more such knocks from them. Chris Lynn has threatened, but the Queenslander is yet to show his true class.
In bowling, Shaheen Afridi didn’t play the last game due to some reason. If the left-armer comes in, then the axe may come down on Usman Shinwari, who is yet to pick up a wicket in the three games he has played. Afridi has six wickets to his name. Irshad and Dilbar Hussain have also done well.
Chris Lynn, Salman Butt, Mohammad Hafeez, Ben Dunk (wk), Samit Patel, Sohail Akhtar (C), Muhammad Faizan, Seekkuge Prasanna, Usman Shinwari/Shaheen Shah Afridi, Salman Irshad, Dilbar Hussain
The Kings will again be depending on Babar Azam to take them off to a sparkling start. In five matches, he has 187 runs with a couple of half-centuries. Alex Hales has 159 runs at an average of 39.75. Sharjeel Khan has looked dangerous and it’s now time for him to get a massive score.
The onus will also be on the likes of Iftikhar, Imad Wasim, and Cameron Delport. Mohammad Amir and Chris Jordan have eight and seven wickets respectively. The onus will again be on the duo to make the breakthroughs. Wasim has a couple of wickets, but he has a frugal economy rate of 7.33.
Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Alex Hales, Cameron Delport, Chadwick Walton (wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Chris Jordan, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Umer Khan
Probable Top Performers
Shan Masood– Lahore Qalandars | Babar Azam– Karachi Kings
TV: D Sport
Live Streaming – Cricket GateWay
Match Timings – 14:30 IST; 14:00 local; 09:00 GMT