PSL 2019: Inconsistent Karachi Kings run into struggling Multan Sultans

Waseem Ahmed 21:49 03/03/2019
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Karachi are up against Multan. Image credit - thePSLt20/Twitter.

The bottom two teams in the 2019 Pakistan Super League (PSL) will collide when Karachi Kings take on Multan Sultans at Abu Dhabi in the second game of Monday’s double-header at Dubai.

Karachi are second from bottom in the league table currently after tasting four defeats in their seven matches so far although they come into the clash on the back of a five-wicket win over Lahore Qalandars.

Karachi’s only other wins in the tournament so far have come against Monday’s opponents Multan Sultans and against Quetta Gladiators where a sensational ton from Colin Ingram had made the difference.

The Kings have been inconsistent in all departments, especially with the ball where Mohammad Amir is the sole bowler from the side to feature in the top-10 wicket-takers. Young Umer Khan has impressed in patches with his spin fetching seven wickets.

With the bat, Liam Livingstone and Babar Azam have been the leading run-scorers for the side but both have failed to maintain consistency while Ingram has played one blinder of an innings. New Zealand opener Colin Munro, however, has simply failed to show up for Karachi with a paltry aggregate of 22 runs from four innings.

For Multan, it has been a campaign to forget so far with Shoaib Malik and his men picking up just the two wins so far from their eight clashes with the latest defeat coming against Quetta Gladiators.

With just two games left in the league campaign, time is running out for the Multan franchise to book a playoff spot and they will need to win both their clashes to even stand a chance.

It is difficult to point out where exactly Multan’s struggles have come this season with skipper Malik leading the run-scoring charts in the PSL with 240 in eight innings. Englishman James Vince and West Indies’ Johnson Charles have also started to look good with the bat but Multan have fallen short when the pressure has been on.

With the ball, there have been no standout players with veteran Shahid Afridi and pacer Junaid chipping in with eights wickets apiece.

None of the batsmen apart from Charles stood tall in the most recent defeat to Quetta and Malik will need to lead from the front in the remainder of the campaign if Multan are to keep their slim hopes alive.

Having kept him under wraps for seven matches, Multan finally handed Mohammad Abbas an opportunity in the loss to Quetta and the Pakistan seamer put in a tidy spell without picking up any wickets. The Sultans will be hoping for some magic from Abbas in the remaining two games if they are to pull off a late resurgence.

The margin of error remains small for both the teams on Monday and another loss for either side could be catastrophic to their playoff hopes.

LIKELY XIs

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

Multan Sultans: Umar Siddiq, James Vince, Johnson Charles, Tom Moores (wk), Shoaib Malik (c), Dan Christian, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Ilyas, Nauman Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Abbas

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