PSL 2019: Karachi Kings feeling the heat as Lahore Qalandars test awaits

Waseem Ahmed 00:42 28/02/2019
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Karachi are bottom of the league. Image - KarachiKings/Twitter.

The pressure will be on Karachi Kings when Imad Wasim and his men take on Lahore Qalandars in a 2019 Pakistan Super League (PSL) clash at Dubai on Thursday.

The Kings find themselves bottom of the table after tasting four defeats in six games so far with the latest of them coming at the hands of Islamabad United on Wednesday.

Karachi have no time to mope about that loss as they get ready to take on a Qalandars side who decimated league leaders Quetta Gladiators on Wednesday.

While world No1 T20I batsman Babar Azam got himself back into form with a fluent 68 against Islamabad, No2 ranked Colin Munro is feeling the heat after a string of poor displays.

The Kiwi opener has so far managed just seven runs from his three innings for Karachi and as such, will need to deliver soon if he wants to keep his place in the squad.

Karachi do have Liam Livingstone back in form as well and as such, will still be feeling good about their batting unit. They have, however, really struggled with the ball with pacer Usman Shinwari being the biggest culprit.

The left-armed pacer was smashed for 44 runs from his four overs on Wednesday with his overall economy-rate in the tournament standing at 10.

While the walls are closing in on Karachi after four defeats, Lahore are not out of the woods just yet despite their annihilation of Quetta. With three victories and as many defeats from their six games along with a negative net run-rate, Lahore need to pull up their socks in the second half of their campaign.

It was Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane who was the star of the show against Quetta with the teenager’s career-best 4-10 helping Lahore bundle out the opposition for just 106 runs.

Lamichhane had an indifferent start to his PSL campaign but his performance on Wednesday will definitely have the Kings on alert.

Meanwhile, skipper AB de Villiers’ form with the bat continues to get better with each passing game with the South African racking up 144 runs in his last three innings without being dismissed even once.

With Lamichhane and de Villiers looking good for the Qalandars, Karachi will have their task cut out on Thursday. The reverse fixture between the two sides ended with a 22-run victory for Lahore.

Will Lahore complete the double over Karachi or will Imad’s men get their stuttering campaign back on track?

LIKELY XIs

Karachi Kings: Babar Azam, Colin Munro, Colin Ingram, Liam Livingstone, Ben Dunk (wk), Imad Wasim (c), Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Iftikhar Ahmed, Umer Khan, Sohail Khan

Lahore Qalandars: Fakhar Zaman, Gauhar Ali (wk), Haris Sohail, AB de Villiers (c), Corey Anderson, David Wiese, Sohail Akhtar, Sandeep Lamichhane, Yasir Shah, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi

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