The fourth edition of Pakistan Super League shifts to Abu Dhabi after a two-day rest with table toppers Peshawar Zalmi taking on number-two Quetta Gladiators and bottom-placed teams Multan Sultans and Karachi Kings locking horns on Monday.
Peshawar and Quetta are on equal points at 10 from seven matches each, but Peshawar is placed at number-one due to their better net run-rate. Peshawar has a net run-rate of 0.85 as compared to Quetta’s 0.08. The winner of this match will be assured of a place in the playoffs.
Peshawar clinched a last-ball thriller against Islamabad with Liam Dawson hitting the winning boundary off Mohammad Sami. In that regard, Peshawar has shown the remarkable quality of playing well under pressure.
Peshawar will hope their opener Kamran Akmal returns to form as his only notable score to date has been 49. He did become the first batsman in PSL history to complete 1,000 runs during his 19-run innings against Islamabad, but Peshawar would hope of more from him in the business end of the league.
Umar Akmal has also lost his run-scoring form after a bright start to the tournament. But, Quetta also
Both Peshawar and Quetta have good pace attacks, Peshawar gets the bits from Hasan Ali (18 wickets) and Quetta from Sohail Tanvir who has 12 wickets in seven matches.
The other match on Monday with both the sides striving to stay alive in the tournament.
Both Karachi Kings (seven matches, three wins and four defeats) and Multan Sultans (eight games, six losses and just two wins) need a win badly. Multan will definitely be out if they lose to Karachi, who will still have an outside chance even if they go down.
Multan Sultans have big names in Shoaib Malik – top-scorer in the league with 240 runs in eight matches – and Shahid Afridi.
Malik said his team was not crossing the finishing line.
“Lady Luck has not been with us in this tournament and we are not been able to cross the finish line. So, in the last match, we badly need a win and I am sure the team will give it
Karachi Kings will also want to win as they would love to reach the playoffs as following Monday’s match, their remaining two matches will be in Karachi. They will hope for a place in the playoffs before a home crowd will inspire them further.
Despite having a good pace attack comprising of Mohammad Amir, Usman Shinwari and Sohail Khan, Karachi
Liam Livingstone has been the top performer for Karachi in batting as he is third on the run chart with 227. His innings of 38 set the tone for Karachi’s run-chase of 134 against Lahore in their last game.
Karachi’s Babar Azam also needs to score big after scoring just 19 against Lahore, while Colin Ingram is also in search for runs after his magnificent 127 not out against Quetta in Sharjah.