Peshawar Zalmi, last season’s PSL finalists, have had a topsy-turvy run thus far in the ongoing edition of the T20 tournament. Placed fourth in the points table, Daren Sammy and Co need a few victories to confirm their berth in the top four and maybe even finish in the top two. After getting past the Lahore Qalandars in a rain-curtailed match, their game against the Islamabad United got abandoned.
Their next match is against the Karachi Kings on March 2, Monday at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. The Kings, led by Imad Wasim, haven’t had the best of times either. They are placed fifth in the table with four points from five game. However, the five-wicket victory over the Islamabad United would keep them in good stead. In their previous meeting in Karachi, the Kings beat the Zalmi by 10 runs.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch in Rawalpindi has been a belter of a strip thus far in the tournament. Bowlers will be in for another tough day as the batters are expected to make hay yet another time. The track won’t change much throughout the duration of the game and hence, chasing should be the way forward. There are no chances of rain with the temperature mostly around the 26 degrees Celsius mark.
Babar Azam started the PSL with a sparkling 78, but has lost a bit of form ever since. In fact, in the last match, he got run out without even facing a delivery. Babar is still the Kings’ leading run-scorer with 117 runs at an average of 29.25. Alex Hales has 110 runs, striking at an impressive 141.02.
Sharjeel Khan has also found rhythm in his batting. Imad Wasim have a couple of wickets to his name and also 95 runs, including a half-century. Chris Jordan went for a few last time, but he remains to be their top wicket-taker. Umaid Asif and Mohammad Amir have been reasonable.
Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Alex Hales, Cameron Delport, Chadwick Walton (wk), Imad Wasim (C), Iftikhar Ahmed, Chris Jordan, Umaid Asif, Umer Khan, Mohammad Amir
The Zalmi batting has mostly been about Kamran Akmal, who has scored 173 runs at an average of 43.25. The young Haider Ali has also impressed with 110 runs, striking at an impressive 157.14. The rest of the batters in Liam Livingstone and Tom Banton also need to be a bit more consistent.
Their bowlers have been a bit on the expensive side though. Among the regular bowlers, Rahat Ali has been the most frugal with an economy of 8.14. Wahab Riaz has five scalps and is their leading wicket-taker. Lewis Gregory’s inclusion has bolstered the Zalmi without a shred of a doubt.
Kamran Akmal (wk), Tom Banton, Haider Ali, Liam Livingstone, Mohammad Mohsin, Lewis Gregory, Daren Sammy (C), Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Amir Khan
Probable Top Performers
Babar Azam– Karachi Kings | Tom Banton– Peshawar Zalmi
TV: D Sport
Live Streaming – Cricket GateWay
Match Timings – 19:30 IST; 19:00 local; 14:00 GMT