The Karachi Kings will be hoping to hang on to second spot when they come up against Peshawar Zalmi later tonight. In an unexpected slip-up against the Sultans, Peshawar redeemed themselves with a convincing win over Islamabad last night which puts them one spot behind Karachi.
One of the most evenly matched contests that has taken place in the current PSL tournament this year, the Kings and Zalmi go from strength to strength all the way down their respective lineups. With an array of both batting & bowling talent that will be on display later tonight, there are very-minimal factors separating these two sides. Although it could be determined that Peshawar have a much stronger top order compared to Karachi, the Kings tend to have a lot more batting depth which could be one of the deciding factors late in the game. Both sides are well-stocked in the bowling department, both attacks are as dangerous as each others which should keep the batsmen on their toes for most of the innings. A big score from either team in this match would stack the odds against the opposition, when you’ve got two quality bowling units it’s often difficult to go after & attack when the team batting first has set the opposition a considerable target, so a low scoring affair could be what both these teams are aiming for.
Peshawar will have to keep an eye on the Kings when the first couple of wickets fall, because that top-middle order containing Babar Azam, Colin Ingram, Ravi Bopara and Shahid Afridi is a lethal one. That’s not to say that Karachi’s openers aren’t any good, Khurram Manzoor and Joe Denly are experienced campaigners who have the ability to fulfill that role in the team, they just don’t have that killer instinct like the aggressors to follow. The Gladiators were no match for Karachi as the South African “bulldozer” Colin Ingram made light-work of the bowlers with a 21-ball onslaught that resulted in 41 runs. Ingram would be a brave man to try and replicate that knock against Zalmi’s attack, but his natural game seems to be high risk for reward which can often come undone if you’re biting off more than you can chew, so to speak. Babar Azam is the rock at No. 3, if he can hang around for half an innings or more they’ll be tough to beat regardless of how many wickets they lose, English all-rounder Ravi Bopara also remains a key contributor in that middle-order playing as more of a batsman these days. Captaining the side in PSL 3, Imad Wasim has made a solid start to his captaincy as well as individually with a tidy performance with the ball in their opening game of the tournament. Wasim opened the bowling with his off-spin, claiming 2/19 as his teammates Tymal Mills and Mohammad Irfan also chipped in with two wickets each. Mohammad Amir and Shahid Afridi were also economical, rounding off a pretty talented bowling unit that will once again be challenging to score off.
Peshawar’s fate may just depend on their top four batsmen, It’s jam-packed quartet of power-hitters that could potentially take down the Kings ultra-reliant bowling cartel. On the flip side, going too hard could cause some early carnage which would be catastrophic for them given their lack of batting depth compared to the Kings who have strategically placed Mohammad Rizwan way down the order. They may not have the depth Karachi possess, but that becomes irrelevant when the entirety of the top four all contributed 30+ runs in their last win over Islamabad. Kamran Akmal is the danger man for mine, he’s found considerable form in this competition over the past two seasons and just recently mustered up another half century the other day. Much-like Akmal, West Indian opener Dwayne Smith relies on brute force to succeed, muscling balls many a mile over the rope with relative ease. Who could forget Mohammad Hafeez? he’s been a talking point in Pakistan cricket for so long, but no matter what the talk is around town about the veteran all-rounder, he’s been a great servant of the game. Hafeez continues to play key roles for franchise teams in the PSL as well as other leagues around the world, so his experience in the middle order for Zalmi is priceless. Skipper Darren Sammy brings leadership to the table more than anything, but a handy quick-fire knock with some big striking towards the back end of the innings would be an added bonus against Karachi. Forget the batting, Peshawar put on a bowling masterclass in the form of Umaid Asif and Ibtisam Sheikh who collectively took seven wickets in total! Asif picked up his just his second four-wicket haul in 32 matches, while 19-year-old leggy Sheikh was super impressive claiming 3/20. Quality fast bowlers Wahab Riaz and Chris Jordan will again play a key part against the Kings, they only managed one wicket each against Islamabad.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Karachi Kings | PSL | 7th match | Dubai
- Babar Azam
- Imad Wasim
- Ravi Bopara
- Shahid Afridi
- Colin Ingram
Wildcard pick – Mohammad Rizwan
Top 5 fantasy picks | Peshawar Zalmi | PSL | 7th match | Dubai
- Kamran Akmal
- Tamim Iqbal
- Umaid Asif
- Dwayne Smith
- Wahab Riaz
Wildcard pick – Darren Sammy
Karachi Kings (possible) – 1. Khurram Manzoor 2. Joe Denly 3. Babar Azam 4. Colin Ingram 5. Ravi Bopara 6. Shahid Afridi 7. Mohammad Rizwan (wk) 8. Imad Wasim (c) 9. Mohammad Irfan Jr 10. Mohammad Amir 11. Tymal Mills.
Peshawar Zalmi (possible) – 1. Tamim Iqbal 2. Kamran Akmal (wk) 3. Dwayne Smith 4. Mohammad Hafeez 5. Haris Sohail 6. Darren Sammy (c) 7. Wahab Riaz 8. Chris Jordan 9. Umaid Asif 10. Ibtisam Sheikh 11. Mohammad Asghar.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.